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Chastain: Surrender to No One

The combination of vocalist Leather Leone and guitar shredder David T. Chastain created some exciting heavy metal back in the 1980s with albums like Ruler of the Wasteland and The 7th of Never, but with Chastain's many projects the band has worked together very sporadically since, with this latest release Surrender to No One being the first time the vocalist & guitarist have done an album together since 1992. With bassist Mike Skemmerhorn and drummer Stian Kristoffersen also on board, Chastain looks to pick up where they left off all those years ago and create the same type of energetic metal highlighted by soaring vocals and lethal guitar work. While at times the formula works, it all comes down to the songs, and some of these just don't cut it and come across as kind of generic. Sure, "Freedom Within" just crushes, with Chastain's heavy riffs and blazing solos leading the charge while Leone injects her venom, and both "Rise Up" and "Stand Up and Fight" are decent enough classic metal anthems that can easily get you headbanging and cranking out your air guitar. Problem is, the production on the album is kind of flat, and those expecting lots of David T. Chastain shredding might be kind of disappointed. Yeah, it's not the '80s anymore, but his over the top wailing on those old albums is what ultimately drove fans to those records, and there's just not enough of it here, which makes the average songs just stick out even more. "Evil Awaits Us" has some cool solos, and "Fear My Wrath" & "Surrender" are surely plenty heavy enough, but there's a certain 'sameyness' at play throughout this album that kind of keeps it stuck in second gear.

I guess I kind of expected more from this reunion, but to their credit, this ain't a bad metal album, and Leather Leone still sounds great (this is miles better than that awful Sledge Leather release from 2012), not to mention that Kristoffersen plays his ass off here. As for Mr. Chastain, he puts in more of a 'riffy' performance on Surrender to No One and keeps his solos somewhat restrained, but when he does unleash, it's obvious he still has the chops. Average songs, good musicianship, middle of the road album...shame, cause it could have been so much better.

Track Listing
1. Stand And Fight
2. Call Of The Wild
3. Deep Down In The Darkness
4. Freedom Within
5. I Am Sin
6. Rise Up
7. Evil Awaits us
8. Fear My Wrath
9. Save Me Tonight
10. Surrender To No One
11. Bleed Through Me

Added: December 3rd 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Leviathan Records
Hits: 1604
Language: english

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