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Leviathan - Words Waging War

Words Waging War
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 03 December 2020, 7:08 AM

Formed in 1989 in Colorado, USA, LEVIATHAN have been at the game a long time. Previously releasing three studio albums before taking a fourteen-year hiatus, and back with a new line-up, they now present their seventh studio album, titled “Words Waging War,” which contains thirteen tracks.

“Compromised by Need” leads off the album. It opens with some spoken words, leading to a shifting riff that takes me back to the past. The vocals are clean tenor but they sneak in harsh growls every now and again. Musically, it reminds me of early FATES WARNING, with equal parts of guitar and bass, but not with that big guitar sound. A keyboard solo is followed by a guitar solo. It’s Progressive Rock, but perhaps not Progressive Metal. “Ambitious Stones Overturned” is shorter in length. The bass guitar carries a lot of the melody in this mid-tempo number. Some of the chord progressions are a bit odd, in my opinion.

“Who I’m Supposed to be” has a slower groove, with some easy riffing. The main problem as I see it so far is that the music is just too linear. There are few peaks or grand moments on the album. The band sticks to a riff and just lets it ride out. It also sounds a bit dated to me as well. “Someone Else’s Art” opens with some unusual chord progressions again, and it’s another mid-tempo song. The vocalist has a nice, smooth voice, and the other musicians are good at their trade, but this just isn’t blowing up my skirt, so to speak. The vocal harmonies are nice, however. “Picture Perfect” begins with slow, emotional tones and some audible bass guitar notes. This song has some more melody present but still sounds a bit dated to me. There are some nice harmonies in the guitar work, however.

“Strength and Limitations” is another mid-tempo song, and the album is beginning to get mired in this pacing. I do like the way the riff builds up the scale. But, it is not overly exciting in my opinion. “The Order of Things” is a short, under two-minute instrumental. I am not entirely sure of its purpose on the album…other than the impact of the spoken words…talking about the re-organization of society. “Ten to the Twelfth” is just over three-minutes in length, but it’s yet another mid-tempo song. The riff and bass stretch out a bit which is nice, but again, without those accents or big emotional peaks, it falls fairly flat on the spectrum.

“WWW” is a slower song, with a bit of darkness. The instrumental passage lingers on a bit too long for my taste, and gets a bit repetitive. I really appreciate the bassist here but the music is just very flat. “Blood and Imagination” is yet another slow moving song. With this many songs having a similar pace, the album is doomed to fail. “Projecting Feelings” is a length seven-minute song, again with a mid-tempo pace. It just gets stuck in a pile of quicksand and sinks slowly. “Cast a Long Shadow” opens with clean guitars and lamenting vocals. He stretches out into the upper ranges every now and again, and really does have a soothing voice. But there is a disconnect with the music and the vocals as a whole.

“A Legacy not yet Defined” closes the album. Beginning with charming piano notes, this song at least has a chance. Emotional spoken words come into play as well, with the piano holding down the melody. It’s hard to make out exactly what the male voice is saying, because there is a bit of distortion behind the voice. The sadness of this song is noteworthy. Overall, thirteen songs is a lot to take in if here isn’t much in the way of variation, and there isn’t. As I mentioned before, many of the songs are mired in a mid-tempo groove, never really giving the album much of a chance. It also sounds quite dated, almost as if it’s still 1989 and the band is trying to find their way in an about-to-change landscape.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 3
Production: 7

2 Star Rating

1. Compromised by Need
2. Ambitious Stones Overturned
3. Who I’m Supposed to be
4. Someone Else’s Art
5. Picture Perfect
6. Strength and Limitations
7. This Order of Things
8. Ten to the Twelfth
9. WWW
10. Blood and Imagination
11. Projecting Feelings
12. Cast a Long Shadow
13. A Legacy not yet Defined
John Lutzow – Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion
Derek Blake – Vocals, Bass
Raphael Gazal – Lead Vocals
Kyle Brian Abbott – Drums
Record Label: Stonefellow Recordings


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