|Review: Leash Law - Dogface|
Label: Black Lotus Records
Year released: 2004
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: June 23, 2004
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
I must admit I was a bit wary of this one when it came in the mail. Leash Law? Dogface? Combine that with the cover art and frankly I was expecting a big pile of junk. Well, they say never judge a book by its cover, and in this case it also applies to CDs. Leash Law is not some weird experimental crap band but rather an unexpectedly good mix of "traditional" heavy metal coupled with some bastard child of US and European power metal. There's no big innovation here - there's even a bit of déjà vu (in the good sense of the term.) Listening to this, you feel like you've just taken a trip through the 80s and the late 90s at the speed of light - the musical influences span several periods. Wade Black (ex-Crimson Glory, among others) gives a very good vocal performance, and at times I thought I was hearing a hint of Jon Bon Jovi (on the mellower tracks) and even some Axl Rose here and there. But he's Wade Black and the comparison ends there. I found his performance to be one of the highlights of the album, even though in a couple of places I found the vocal style annoying (and he does go through a number of styles over the length of the album.)
Even though the war-related lyrical content is not the happiest one can think of, the overall album has a bit of a positive feeling about it, yet with a little "negative" something in the background that provide a good balance. Just don't expect some happy power metal here - think more of a Primal Fear type, but more geared toward traditional heavy metal than power metal. Speaking of which, coming back to the vocals a moment, there's a bit of Primal Fear in there too.
This is definitely a surprising release for me, I'm just glad I didn't ship it off to someone else for review. :) Nothing really new in terms of ideas, but some well-crafted songs and an album that catches the listener's interest from beginning to end. Sorry for doubting them based solely on the cover - I'll go whip myself now. :)
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