COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Pekka Heino - vocals * Torsti Spoof - guitar * Tuomas Heikkinen - guitar * Marko Niskala - keyboards * Pekka Lampinen - bass * Valtteri Revonkorpi - drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Fifteen Years * 02 Superstition * 03 Horizon * 04 Dreamworld * 05 Follow Down That River * 06 Stranger * 07 Sails * 08 Marching To War * 09 Twilight Symphony * 10 Gone
After a good start with Swedish wonderboys Platitude
then following up with the disappointing Altaria
, AOR Heaven strike the jackpot again with Finnish debutants Leverage. This band could easily sit among many genres, but the most obvious one is melodic metal.. the key word being melodic. Leverage is the brainchild of Tuomas Heikkinen, a disciple at the feet of Richie Blackmore
and Yngwie Malmsteen
by the sounds of the things, though the overall sound does not recall the glory days of Deep Purple
. Nope, this is full-on 21st century metal with all guns blazing and all ivories shimmering! This lot remind me of Sonata Arctica
in their heyday, so you can tell there are a ton of progressive metal passages etched within the laser light of this CD. Joining the band as vocalist is current Brother Firetribe
voice Pekka Heino. AORsters shouldn't be looking for similarities as the two bands that Heino sings for are quite different, but what they have in common is class.
A great album opener usually sets the standard, and with 'Fifteen Years' we get just that. This one is full of big keyboard melodies (when the occasion warrants) and chugging guitars. 'Superstition' sees more of the progressive metal influences filter through, including neat keyboard sequences and more of those gritty guitars. 'Horizon' is the albums stand-out ballad, in fact it is one of the stand-out tracks on the album for me. The riffs on 'Dreamworld' are subtle yet powerful, the bridge section and the solo parts send this one into the stratosphere. Just as you are descending, you are given a helium boost with 'Follow Down That River', propelling you up into the skies again with no chance to catch your breath. Thankfully, 'Stranger' gives you the opportunity to suck on the oxygen, as this track is a semi-ballad and less intense than what we've heard so far. The keyboards take over on 'Sails', this one could be a Supreme Majesty
tune such is the similarity. 'Marching To War' is an intense affair which could've passed for Pyramaze
or any of those Lance King affiliated bands. The keyboard solo is rather cool too! Was that Derek Sherinian
I just heard? 'Twilight Symphony' continues the intensity with cast-iron riffs, but the album closes with another highlight - the classy melodic rock of 'Gone', which is a slow-burner with a super-hot flame through the center.
As much as I have spun the Slamer
albums to hell and back again, Leverage is now starting to occupy the front of the grid. There is nigh on a weak moment on 'Tides', the rip is strong from track 1 to track 10, just make sure you don't get dragged out too far! Now all I wait for with impatience is the new Dragonland
disc 'Astronomy'. Lets hope that things rev up even more before the end of the year. In the meantime, get swamped with some Finnish mastery courtesy of Leverage.
Related ArticlesLeverage - 2006 TidesLeverage - 2008 Blind FireLeverage - 2009 Circus Colossus
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