Leather - Shock Waves (Massacre) 1989
1. All Your Neon (4:24)
2. The Battlefield of Life (5:38)
3. Shock Waves (4:14)
4. In a Dream (5:22)
5. Something In This Life (4:10
6. Diamonds Are For Real (3:54)
7. It's Still In Your Eyes (3:58)
8. Catastrophic Heaven (3:42)
9. No Place Called Home (4:41)
Back in the 80's Canadian singer Lee Aaron proclaimed herself to be the Metal Queen. Frankly, Aaron didn't really live up to that title with subsequent release. Leather Leone , most know for her work with Chastain, is the true Metal Queen. Whether it be her work with Chastain, or on this solo work titled "Shock Waves", you won't find even the slightest bit of pop diva crap. "Shock Waves" is pure heavy metal in the truest sense, from the galloping riffs, to the pounding drums, to the accomplished lead guitar solos to Leather's fiery vocals.
Originally released in 1989, Shock Waves features John Luc He'bert - drums (King Diamond/Mercyful Fate/Chastain), David Harbour - bass (King Diamond/Chastain) and Michael Harris - guitars. The album was produced by David T. Chastain. Among the songwriters, other than Leather herself, were Chastain, Pat O'Brien (Cannibal Corpse/Nevermore) and Mark Shelton (Manilla Road). Together they created a solid slab of traditional heavy metal that is sure to please fans of the classic Chastain catalog, especially the "For Those Who Dare Release". What is missing is Chastain's neo-classical influences that were a staple of his work with Leather. However, that's not to say that "Shock Waves" isn't good. In fact, I just find "Shock Waves" to be a more straight-forward, heavy metal release with slight touches of American power metal (ie. Metal Church).
The CD opens with "All Your Neon" a mid-paced, steady burner that builds in intensity and has a catchy chorus. Don't mistake catchy for pop though, that is not the case. "The Battlefield of Life" is a song that begins as a melodic, ominous song before building to a galloping heavy metal romp that is brought to life by Leather's voice and some nice axework. The upbeat "Shock Waves" and slower anthem "Diamond Are For Real" offer more traditional power chords and galloping riffs. Guitarist Michael Harris, while quite different from David T., unleashes some fierce soloing throughout the album. "Something In This Life" starts off as if it might be a ballad, but after some sweeping arpeggio solos, breaks into a heavy power metal tune that perfectly suits Leone's warlike siren howls. The album closes with "No Place Called Home", a slower, atmospheric, almost doomy work. There is something almost eerie about this song.
In a review I wrote about Leone in the past I stated that her vocals were, "raw, energetic and passionate." As well, "She is no pop diva...Leone is an aggressive heavy metal singer with leather lungs and a heart of pure steel." That is the case with this solo effort as well.
"Shock Waves" has apparently been released and re-released several times. My copy is on Germany's Massacre Records and has a copyright date of 1999. The album has also been released with a different cover art on Leviathan. (Thanks Vexer6)