Artist: Chastain/Leather Leone
Album: The Reign Of Leather
Label: Leviathan Records
Reviewer: Mark Lewis
Date: Aug 27, 2010



 

Prolific only begins to describe Leather Leone when she begins to sing.  She was the Lead Singer of Chastain from 1985 thru 1990, a band named after Metal God and Guitar Virtuoso David T. Chastain.  When you think of David T. Chastain, think Yngwie Malmsteen but more on the Metal side, and when you think of Yngwie in this context, think of David but more on the classical side.  That should give you an idea of what comprised this great band.  Chastain is a band that can play with anyone and can not only hang with them, but in most cases, blow them off the stage.  Of note, on the first album ‘Mystery of Illusion’, was a very young drummer named Fred Coury, who one year later went on to play with Cinderella.  After her stint with Chastain and a great solo album called ‘Shock Waves’, she then disappeared, seemingly never to be heard from again.

The new album is entitled ‘The Reign Of Leather’, and is comprised of 3 of the 5 albums from the time Leather was in the band.  It features all of the songs she had a hand in writing “during her glory days” with the band.  She is considered by many as the “Preeminent” Female Heavy Metal Vocalist of the late 1980’s, and some would say of “all time”.  The tracks, 15 in total, were digitally remastered and are in their original unedited versions.  The albums included here are 1987’s ‘The 7th of Never’, 1988’s ‘The Voice of the Cult’, and 1990’s ‘For Those Who Dare’.  There are 5 songs from each album, including Leather’s favorite song, “Chains of Love”.

How does the album stack up, for both 80’s Metal and also today’s new music?  Well, first of all, a singer such as Leather comes across once in a blue moon.  To understand who she is and her vocal style, ability to carry and hold a crescendo, the power and majesty in her voice, etc., you have to only go so far as those she has been named as being in the league of and in category with.  We are talking Rob Halford of Judas Priest, Geoff Tate of Queensryche, Bruce Dickenson of Iron Maiden, Ronny Munroe of Metal Church, James Rivera of Helstar, and the passion and soul of Ronnie James Dio, and when you are in such a league as this, you have one hell of an amazing singer.

Songs such as “For Those Who Dare”, “I Am The Rain”, “Once Before”, “Chains Of Love”, “Soldiers Of The Flame”, “Take Me Home”, “The Wicked Are Restless”, and “Forevermore” are examples of the diversity in her voice and style, and are shining examples as to why she was and always will be one of the “Great” and most prolific Metal singers of all time, male or female.

To sum up, the album is as good anything that is out there today, and in most cases better, and overall is as good as it gets.  This one will stand the test of time, for now, forever, and beyond.  Solid, phenomenal, mind-blowing, prolific, well executed, and the stuff that greatness is made of only begin to describe how awesome and powerful this album is, and these albums she recorded were.

As I said before, a singer such as Leather Leone only comes around once in a blue moon.  Thankfully she graced us with her presence and we have these killer tracks to cherish for a lifetime and beyond. One final note, she is coming back, after a 20 year hiatus and will be recording again soon.  Also, check out her first interview in 20 years, which is in the Multimedia section.  STAY TUNED!!!


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