Leather - II

11 songs
47:32 minutes
***** ***
High Roller


Leather Leone released her first solo album Shock Waves in 1989. But before that, she was known as the vocalist for guitar hero David Chastainís eponymous band, where she was featured on nine albums between 1984 and 2015. She took a time out between 1990 and 2010, then came back for two Chastain albums in 2013 and 2015, before her second solo album, simply titled II, came out in 2019.

Her current band consists of four Brazilian musicians who worked already as the live backing band of metal vocalist Bob Rock. Comparing the new album to her first solo effort from thirty years ago, you get the impression that, apart from production values, time stood still. Leather is firmly rooted in the Eighties which should appeal to metal purists. Her biggest influence is the late Ronnie James Dio, and just like him, her music is purest metal without any foreign influences. The songs are quite rough, with Leatherís raw voice matching perfectly with the music. Judas Priest and Warlock are two further metal legends that have left their traces, although it should be noted that Leather Leone didnít start much later than these bands. Despite her two decades long musical time out, it is surprising how powerful she still sounds. My favourite tracks are the rousing opener Juggernaut, The Outsider and The One on which Leather Leone truly screams her soul out of her body. All the songs are really good, with two of them standing a little apart. Annabelle is quiet and gloomy, reminding of Alice Cooperís spookier material. The concluding Give Me Reason is a fitting finale with some blues rock elements.

For some people, old school might be an insult, but for this album it is only meant in a positive way. If you discovered, like me, as a teenager heavy metal in the mid-Eighties, then you feel really happy that now that youíre pushing fifty, there are still artists that play metal the way I grew up with it. II offers classic heavy metal that not even once disappoints.

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