Released: 2005, Lion Music
I’m sure many will be quick to classify Listeria as power metal considering their, at least slightly, cleaner sound, and being a part of Lion Music’s roster will certainly help in that mislabelling but Listeria are more set in 80’s traditional heavy metal vein, albeit with that slightly more rock and roll swagger than most have.
Hailing from Italy, Listeria got their start in the early 90’s; recording their first demo 10 years ago. Throughout the last 10 years the band released two more demos as well as opening for some rather large bands in their home country, namely Edguy and Iron Savior. 2005 sets the stage for Listeria’s debut album, FULL OF FIRE.
Now, FULL OF FIRE, as I said before, isn’t power metal, this is rocking heavy metal, very much in the semi-commercial 80’s vein. No, this isn’t Warrant mach 2 or anything that may have popped into your head, might be closer in style to early 80’s Saxon (though not really in quality) with cleaner vocals and there’s something here that reminds me of Extreme, though I’m not quite sure what it is.
“Like Alì” gets things underway with the opening soundclip from the original “Outer Limits” television show and one of the faster tracks on the album. While not completely double bass driven (it’s not a constant double bass beat) the song is rather dependant on its use, with the double bass coming in short bursts, it’s actually a nice little touch, though I know most people will just say, “yeah, okay whatever”, cause it has been done before but there’s something I enjoy about the drum work in this one. Not to say there’s only the drum work to mention here, there’s some kickass riffing, it may not be bone crunchingly heavy, but there’s something really dirty sounding about the guitar and the way the riffs are played. The bluesy dual guitar part at 2:40 is extremely catchy and what really drew me into the song, not to mention the way the song really begins to climax and build into the ending so well, everything’s taken to the edge just before it’s over. “Swim in the Mud” is a bit of an odd song, the way it’s constructed is rather different than you standard verse/chorus song, there’s a few sections that aren’t really repeated and it goes off on this little call and response style ending.
The groove rules “Don’t Believe”… and so do pinch harmonics though it’s done so well here. Yet again I have to praise the band’s composition skills, for the style of music the band are playing, they really do take it to the next level with enough different sections to keep it interesting yet still catchy, the listener isn’t just beat over the head with a simple dumbed down chorus for 5 minutes. The more instantly catchy rocking side is taken up in “Little Star”. Even though it starts out sounding like a modern metal song with crunchy riffing, the song starts to rock out soon after with soaring vocals and an interesting riff that descends down the guitar neck.
On their debut Listeria has been able to create a nice little niche for themselves. While they aren’t reinventing the wheel, I can’t think of many modern bands that sound exactly like Listeria. Take a touch of traditional heavy metal and take a touch of 80’s hard rock and that’s Listeria but it’s just not that simple, the band is able to craft short, to the point songs, that are still creative. While this album didn’t blow me away, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality and thought that went into this release. Certainly a band to watch out for in the future.