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Leverage: Blind Fire

Second albums can be tough. But after releasing Tides, one of the best debuts of 2006 which unfortunately went unheard by most of the planet Finland's Leverage return with, unbelievably, an album nearly as good. By blurring modern progressive metal with Eighties arena-rock melodies, this six-man band has massive appeal, earning kudos from outlets as diverse as and Lords of Metal. The voice of Pekka Heino (who also sings for Brother Firetribe) has a Jimi Jamison quality to it, making songs like "King of the Night," "Sentenced" and "Heart of Darkness" sound like a heavier Survivor. Other tracks soar like Stratovarius ("Don't Touch the Sun") or have a majestic Edguy edge ("Stormchild"). The closing ballad "Learn to Live" even kinda-sorta sounds like a Tommy Shaw-penned Styx song.

The 10 songs on Blind Fire are warm and immediate, wrapping themselves around you with original hooks, superior musicianship, smart lyrics and exactly the right combination of metal and hard rock to snare fans who pledge allegiance to everyone from Foreigner to Dream Theater. (And there's not too many bands at least good bands that fall into that category.)

Blind Fire should give Leverage plenty of, well, leverage in the fractured metal universe. It isn't quite as essential as Tides, which is now readily available as a re-release from Italy's Frontiers Records with two bonus tracks, but it will still probably be one of the finest examples of classy metal you'll hear all year.

Track Listing:
1) Shadow in the Rain
2) King of the Night
3) Stormchild
4) Sentenced
5) Hellhorn
6) Mister Universe
7) Don't Touch the Sun
8) Run Down the Hill
9) Heart of Darkness
10) Learn to Live

Added: December 1st 2008
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Frontiers Records
Hits: 3920
Language: english

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