Frontiers [Release date 15.10.21]
AOR, Melodic Rock, Power Metal, Progmetal … Leverage are none of these yet they are all of these. On their 5th album now and the music gets harder to define and easier to admire.
It’s perhaps best described as heavy rock with stunning melodies and a penchant for unconventional song structures, and indeed, challenging lyrical themes.
Judging by the rip roaring opener ‘Starlight’, the band’s restless musical aesthetic seems to have settled on Celtic rock. But that’s only the beginning, the first step on a musical journey that seems rich with possibilities, and never fails to excite.
They move through the album with an athletes speed and grace, threading traces of hard to pin down folk tunes through the torqued up, heavy metal guitars of the Art Rocking ‘Into The New World’, then carrying ‘Emperor’s hulking riff through radiant bursts of spine tingling guitar/keyboard orchestration, into a majestic, melodic rock chorus.
We might immediately assume that tthose tracks were the highpoints, but no, there’s much more. Like the fabulous AOR Metal of ‘Do You Love Me Now’, the Seventies’ Prog stylings of ‘Angelica’, echoing the distinctive tones of Robbie (Kansas) Steinhardt’s memorable violin moments.
It’s impossible to avoid comparisons … some bands’ music encompasses so many influences. ‘Under His Eye’ and ‘Falling Out Of Grace’ have fairly obvious religious connotations. The fact that they are delivered with the urgency of Tyketto’s muscular melodic rock, and the pomp of Brother Firetribe’s classy concertos doesn’t undermine the message.
All that said, they are still their own band. Kimmo Blom is a world class rock vocalist. Their music captures your imagination and and gets you where it counts.
There are no certainties in rock’n'roll, but I would wager that this album will top quite a few Best Of The Year lists come December. *****
Review by Brian McGowan
The latest Josh Taerk live session was streamed on Sunday 26 September. This marked the start of a new monthly series. Josh’s next session is Sunday 31 October.
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 26 September 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 28 September 2021.
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Featured Albums w/c 18 October 2021 (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 TAO Prophecy (Tarot Label Media)
12:00-13:00 LEVERAGE Above The Beyond (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JOE TILSTON Tightrope (Our Records)
Power Plays w/c 18 October 2021 (Mon-Fri)
ABOVE SNAKES Nothing To Lose (indie)
FRANKIE AND THE WITCH FINGERS Cookin’ (Greenway Records)
LEADFINGER The Fall Of Rome (Golden Robot)
FEMEGADES Stealing Numbers (Regent Street Records)
TIGERSIDE Any Contact (indie)
INDYA Love Like Champagne (indie)
EDGE OF DESTINY Forsaken (indie)
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