Chastain – “Surrender To No One – Uncut” (Leviathan / Hellion Records)
US Metal lives! Another legend from Mike Varney’s original Shrapnel roster, David T Chastain was a shredding virtuoso guitarist who graced the US scene back in the 80s with his namesake band. Joining him at the time was a young talented female singer called Leather Leone whose powerful pipes matched what he could achieve on the fretboard. The chemistry between the two would remain for 5 albums until the 90s when she left the music scene. 20 years later Leone not only returned but back into the ranks of Chastain once again! Releasing “Surrender To No One” last year it was evident that she was in fine form and brought back fresh life into the band, receiving worldwide critical acclaim for hearing the sound of her air raid voice once again! The “Uncut” version of this album is essentially what it says, the raw original recordings before any tampering by the producer (Mr Chastain himself) to remove any guitar string noise, amp hum etc that might detract from the commercial release. Personally I think it’s how all albums should sound! You really feel like you’re in front of the band as Leone’s she cat sultry vocals tease n torment you before she blitzes you with her atomic screaming just like in the 80s whilst Chastain’s guitar remains as ever, riffing and wailing wildly all over power epics like ‘Fear My Wrath’, ‘Stand And Fight’ and ‘I Am Sin’. Backed by the steam hammering rhythm of Mike Skimmerhorn’s bass and Stian Kristoffersen’s power drumming mit plenty of double bass work this classic material has a new ‘ultra’ sound making it well able to stand up to today’s extreme bands, whilst not letting up on any of the grace and majesty of the melodies within – if you want to know what modern heavy metal should and does sound like then look no further to the living legend of Chastain – uncut!