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Leverage: Tides

Tides is a very solid debut for Finland's melodic metallers Leverage. Though melodic metal has been oversaturated recently, this band knows how to do it right retaining energy and power throughout the whole disc with great results.

This six-piece group churns out highly melodic metal numbers, mixing them up with both 80's Journey-like arena rock and symphonic elements depending on the song. Where tracks like the album opener "Fifteen Years" and "Dramworld" exhibit primal energy and relentless melodic fury, at times evoking bands like Dream Evil and Firewind; the more mid-tempo driven "Sails" and "Follow Down That River" boast multiple hooks thanks to the solid guitar tandem of Tuomas Heikkinen and Torsti Spoof. The former particularly delves into 80's-styled shred guitars at one point whilst the latter stands out for the fantastic vocal performance of Pekka Heino, without whom this album would be nowhere near as good as it is. Heino possesses crystal clear midrange tone, which he employs through most of the tunes, but when the situation calls for it, he opts for powerful high screams best heard at the end of "Horizon".

"Superstition" is like 80's Journey with its delicate keys interwoven with hook-filled guitar crunch and hugely gripping choruses. Though the band is unafraid to borrow mightily from all of rock's greats, their tunes are also graced with European power metal choruses. It's only on the comparatively more symphonic-based "Marching to War" (with a killer synth solo by Marko Niskala) and the darker-toned "Twilight Symphony" where they seem to slightly stray from the norm, but with the arrival of stadium-sized choruses they quickly return to their original sound. Also, right in the middle of the album is the acoustic guitar-based "Stranger", which morphs into a melodic rocker at the end.

The production is crisp and very natural sounding. It fits the album and the style of the band perfectly. Recommended to anyone remotely interested in melodic metal which has its own character.

(This is a review of the original pressing of the CD on Golden Core Records. A re-release indicates two bonus tracks were added. I have not heard that one.)

Track Listing

  1. Fifteen Years
  2. Superstition
  3. Horizon
  4. Dreamworld
  5. Follow Down That River
  6. Stranger
  7. Sails
  8. Marching to War
  9. Twilight Symphony
  10. Gone

Added: May 19th 2008
Reviewer: Murat Batmaz
Score:
Related Link: Leverage website
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