Released: 2008, Self-released
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Finland´s Leverage made a huge impression on me with their debut album (TIDES) last year which introduced the band´s powerful muscle for some really catchy hard/heavy rock that was also spiced up with some more progressive elements á la Dream Theater. The band´s second album continues Levarage´s predilection for some really well-executed, strong and melodic metal - and at the same time, also making some distance with their somewhat Rainbow-ish hard rock and adding an even more modern edge into their sound.
To be honest, Leverage don´t fail to impress me this time either. The band continues to churn out a high calibre, modern sounding, hardrock-ish heavy/power metal that has this tendency to easily rock one´s socks off and makes most of us very comfortable with their stuff right away. They are certainly on flame on BLIND FIRE... well, metaphorically speaking at least. ;o)
As said earlier, on BLIND FIRE Leverage have sort of ´modernized´, or at least updated their sound a bit - venturing toward the current sounds of the century, and probably losing tiny doses of that ´old evergreen magic´ that made their debut album such an appealing listening experience for me personally. However, don´t read me wrong though as BLIND FIRE is still a very good follow-up album from these guys. The songs are overall catchy in the same way as they were on their debut; lots of great melodies and well-delivered riffs are still present there in their hardrocking yet power metal-ish sound. The songs tend to catch the listener´s attention immediately which is important, of course, and should matter in a long run. Pekka Heino, Leverage´s absolutely skilled vocalist, adds his own signature sound to their music in a fine way - having this soft spot in his voice, which is still very powerful and adds that sweet cream to the top of this well-constructed cake.
Whenever talking about the album´s so-called stand-out tracks off this album, I would throw an ever-beautiful, Rainbow-flavored "Sentenced" on the very top of the pile - as well as "Stormchild" which has a sinfully catchy chorus part, but also "Hellhorn", which cannot completely get away from being compared to those Rainbow-ish elements either. There´s a fair dose of epicness in this tune, making it one of my favorite tunes on BLIND FIRE, too.
Just like I told you... Leverage cannot do wrong. It´s quite unfair that relatively unknown bands (like Leverage definitely is) that are full of sheer talent, are somehow ignored by more established labels. Marketing and promotion are of course two important yet vital keywords in the music business, so hopefully their path will be full of professionals who work for this particular area of music business. Levarage truly deserve to be heard by each of you.