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Leather - We Are The Chosen Award winner

We Are The Chosen
by Kevin Lewis at 10 December 2022, 3:56 AM

LEATHER is the eponymous band of Leather Leone, vocalist extraordinaire of CHASTAIN and a few other bands. With her signature grit and rasp, hers is an immediately recognizable voice. Coupled with heavy, melodic guitars and a variety of rhythms that run from tempered to frenetic, this new album is an emergence from the COVID pandemic with new music and a new attitude. Steamhammer Records let the fire and fury loose on November 25, 2022.

The album opens with the anthemic, “We Take Back Control.” After a few years of chaos and drama, or whatever you want to call a global pandemic, there is a new attitude within much of the Heavy Metal scene. Here, we get heavy guitar riffs with melodic lead work and shredding solos coupled with a bombastic rhythm and lyrics filled with fury. It is a great way to start an album meant to set a new standard for a well-established artist.

For a bit of a different take, “Shadows,” has a bluesy feel to the riff and a sludgy rhythm that is beautifully underpinned by atmospheric keyboards and orchestration. The effect is getting something that is definitively LEATHER with a new twist. The song is slow and melodic, with a tempo that pleases me greatly. It is not even close to being a ballad, it’s just a perfectly paced bit of heaviness that has a fantastic background, elevating the song to new heights.

The title track, “We Are The Chosen,” is another slower tempo rager that has killer keyboard work woven into the fabric of the song. The riff is a chugging beast coexisting with an atmospheric key tone, heavy-handed bass lines and drumming that fits the pace perfectly. The foot work on the drums is so beautifully placed in the rhythm that it really defines this track in many ways, even more than the guitars. Don’t hate me for saying that, I just really love this drum phrasing.

Hallowed Ground” is the track that has the dark ballad feel to it. The keyboards are airy, yet carry a heaviness to their tone. The guitars are slow, dark, and haunted. The bass and drums both nestled into the tone of the track, making this one of those songs that works on every level, across the entire composition. It is hauntingly beautiful.

The album then steps on the gas and races to the end of the record. The last three tracks are all fast and heavy, just like classic Heavy Metal should be. Leather spends much of her time using that signature grit, but also throws in a number of killer belted notes. Her power is astounding. The riffs are heavy and full of great patterns, the lead guitar work is beautifully placed throughout the songs. The bass and drums propel the songs forward violently, just like I like them.

LEATHER is back and better than ever before. This collaboration with Vinnie Tex is definitely a step in the right direction. They put forth some killer heaviness, but also take that dark turn on “Hallowed Ground” that is so hauntingly beautiful. Leather Leone is more than just “The Voice Of The Cult,” she’s the voice of Metal in this moment. She has “taken back control,” and as “the Chosen,” will “rule the world!”

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. We Take Back Control
2. Always Been Evil
3. Shadows
4. Off With Your Head
5. We Are The Chosen
6. Tyrants
7. Hallowed Ground
8. Dark Days
9. Who Rules The World
10. The Glory In The End
Leather Leone – Vocals
Vinnie Tex – Bass/Guitars
Braulio Drumond – Drums
Douglas Pinella – Keyboards/Orchestration
Record Label: SPV/Steamhammer Records


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