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Vaillant, Cody: Lovelorn Leviathan

Cody Vaillant is a misfit and that's by his own admition! So what makes this self motivated, self financing metal freak a misfit? Well basically his desire to rock out!! This is a man who has done everything from work as a farm hand to a digging graves in his pursuit of enough cash to fulfill his dream of writing, recording and releasing the music that he loves. When his musical passion no longer fit with the current trends, he basically went out and did it himself anyway!

The first fruits of those efforts saw the light of day when the "garagey-amateur" Dross Coven was released in 2006, however with the help this time round of one of Cody's idols, Neal Busby who played drums with Silk Toxic and one time XYZ, King Kobra, and Paul Shortino contributor JK Northrup, Lovelorn Leviathan is a far more professional sounding release indeed.

Northrup mixed and mastered the album as well as playing the guitar solo on "Crematorium" and when you consider that Lovelorn Leviathan was recorded in locations such as Vaillant's front room, his parent's house and a shared apartment, it is testament to Northrup's skills that whilst it isn't going to rival any of the big budget releases this year, this is a very listenable, clear set of songs.

What is apparent through every track on the album is that Cody Vaillant lives and breathes rock music and whilst his bio sites hair and sleaze metal as influences, there are also touches of NWOBHM and even early Queensryche thrown into the mix. Vaillant has obviously put the hours in on his six string, as his playing is fluent and sharp, both in his rhythm parts and on his solos and it's a joy to hear someone blast out some tunes that they are obviously loving every second of playing. Vocally Cody isn't quite so sharp, however considering that the majority of what is on display is up tempo feel good stuff, his voice does do the music justice. Mr Vaillant also plays all the bass guitar on the album bar one track and it has to be said that he is adept in this department as well.

The one song where he does receive some backing is "Crematorium" where long time friend Ryan Benninghaus plays bass and Northrup handles the solo with style and skill. It is one of the standout tracks, however not because of the guest appearances, but due to the fact that it's a well written and constructed song. Other standouts include the Qyeensryche, during the Warning phase, tinged titled track, the sleazy Vain-like "Love Candy" and "Snakebite Goodnight" with it's insistent cowbell and catchy, dirty riff. Truth be told, there are no real missteps on the disc and I could have chosen many others to highlight the charms of this album.

I can't pretend that Lovelorn Leviathan is the slickest, or most polished CD you could buy all year, however if you want to support someone who is giving everything he has to his catchy, memorable music then you could do much worse than listen to Cody Vaillant display his heart and soul through his songs.

It would be interesting to hear what Cody could achieve with a bigger budget and top class singer, as on this scale his output is really quite impressive.

A quick mention is also due to the top notch digi pack that this album comes in and the excellent design on the disc, as at no time does this feel, sound or look like a cheaply thrown together CD and considering that Tendril Records is Vaillant's own imprint, then that's something else to be proud of.

Track Listing
1 - Intro (PSA666)
2 - Mistress Cadaver
3 - Crematorium
4 - Lovelorn Leviathan
5 - Scene Kid
6 - South of Myself
7 - Luciferia
8 - Love Candy
9 - Wiccan Woman Part One (Crime)
10 - Wiccan Woman Part Two (Punishment)
11 - SnakeBite GoodNight
12 - Ballad of no Words
13 - Rae-Ann

Added: November 23rd 2009
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Artist's Web Page
Hits: 2062
Language: english

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