Chastain – “We Bleed Metal 17” (Pure Steel)
Going right back to the underground days of Shrapnel Records, whose founder Mike Varney was signing the most extreme bands and especially those espousing guitar shredding, David T Chastain and his namesake group came to life as a result of Varney bringing his talent together with that of an upcoming screamer – Leather Leone. Decades later and Chastain remain a cult act, attracting rabid fans across the globe as a result of their heavily guitar driven heavy / power metal in the traditional vein. Strangely enough, despite their popularity, there has never been a live release in all that time. The key reason for this is that Chastain’s music has always featured multiple guitar tracks – on average 5 and up to 20 in some cases! Impossible to replicate live as a result of which Chastain rarely toured, “We Bleed Metal 17” is intended to answer this. In part owed to David Chastain’s own coming to terms with a stripped down sound, “We Bleed Metal 17” features the same drum and vocal tracks as the 2015 original – but with everything else changed! Now with just one guitar re-recorded by Chastain, I can’t believe how raw and in your face it is in the mix – pretty much as he would have it if he were plugged in and playing live right in front of you, complete with amps humming, massive amounts of reverb and oozing virtuosity – wow! Officially retired from the stage and with much of his time now spent in the studio, Chastain’s technical expertise has also ensured the drums are huge and prominent in the sound while still synching perfectly with Leone’s power vocals on tracks like ‘All Hail (The King)’, ‘Against All The Odds’ and ‘(I Am A) Warrior’. So in essence a totally different sound and feel from the original version but the closest anyone – including Chastain himself – will ever get to a live recording and reflecting his actual live sound! “We Bleed Metal 17” will be an undoubted treat for all Chastain fans worldwide but equally anyone appreciative of guitar shredding along Varney’s early US metal lines as well as original heavy and ‘true’ metal fans.