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Released: 2015, Frontiers Records
Quickly proving themselves Masters of the Supergroup, Frontiers Records has reached into their stable of high-quality musicians once again, re-shuffled them around, and come out with Level 10. The band is led by Mat Sinner, features his Primal Fear bandmates Alex Berodt and Randy Black (now ex-Primal Fear), and also includes mega-vocalist Russell Allen and ex-Helloween happy guy Roland Grapow. With names like that, you’d think that Level 10 would make some serious waves in the metal scene, but things have been oddly quiet since this album’s release back in January. Let’s have a listen and see why that may be…
For those familiar with the heavy hard rock/power metal style Frontiers likes (Allen/Lande, Pretty Maids, Primal Fear etc.), CHAPTER ONE will be immediately comfortable listening as it fits perfectly in that musical wheelhouse. Nicely melodic songs with heavy riffs and typically powerful vocals from Russell Allen are the order of the day, and Level 10 deals out 12 heaping doses of ‘em. The performances are all spot-on, nothing to complain about at all. If we’re picking highlights, I’d go with the anthemic “Last Man on Earth” and the Primal Fear-like “Demonized”.
Oddly though, as immediate and hard-hitting as it is, much of CHAPTER ONE just doesn’t resonate. I’ve enjoyed it each time that I’ve played it, but I rarely feel a strong compulsion to listen to it again. That, more than anything, is likely why it’s been a somewhat ignored release. I’d say that every single one of the 12 songs on the album is good, but not one of them knocked me on my ass. With the amount of high-level talent involved, my expectations were higher than what I got.
Nevertheless, CHAPTER ONE is a fine, solid album. As the album’s title implies, I’ll be looking forward to where the band goes from here. If you’re a fan of any of the musicians involved, I’d highly recommend checking it out.
1. Cry No More
2. Soul of a Warrior
3. When the Nighttime Comes
4. One Way Street
6. Last Man on Earth
7. In for the Kill
8. Voice in the Wilderness
9. All Hope is Gone
11. The Soul is Eternal
Russell Allen: Vocals
Alex Beyrodt: Guitar
Roland Grapow: Guitar
Alessandro Del Vecchio: Keyboards
Mat Sinner: Bass, Backing Vocals
Randy Black: Drums
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