LEVERAGE – Determinus [Japan Edition +1] (2019)
Finnish melodic heavy rockers LEVERAGE breaks the 10-year silence and comes back on track with a fresh line-up and an upcoming new full album – “Determinus” – with Frontiers Music, released today in Japan with a bonus track.
Leverage is not a metal band, nor an AOR band, and not a throwback to the ’80s band. However, they are a mix of all of it.
Leverage don’t fall into an easy category. The band developed their own style of heavy rock in the 2000s. With elements of classic metal and catchy melodies fused within their unique sound they still manage to possess a modern slant and take on 2019 heavy rock / metal which is a massive plus side.
The addition of new singer Kimmo Blom – known for his work with Melodic Hard Rock / AOR acts Urban Tale and Heartplay – provides to “Determinus” smooth vocal harmonies resulting into a great blend of heaviness and catchiness.
Opener ‘Burn Love Burn’ serves as fine introduction for Kimmo’s work with Leverage, but also to the band’s slightly new musical approach; hard hitting yet extremely grooving. And catchy.
Think Jorn Lande’s Ark meets Brother Firetribe.
‘Wind of Morrigan’ has a little celtic vibe, however bouncing, driven by strong riffs and with a huge chorus. Next, ‘Tiger’ has a classic German metal atmosphere (Accept comes to mind) yet very modern and updated 2019.
‘Red Moon over Sonora’ is one of my favorites. A midtempo metal ballad embellished by synths, epic verses and deep guitar work – the dual axe solo kills.
‘Mephistocrate’ brings back heaviness with modern darker riffs / vocals, then ‘Afterworld’s Disciple’ is another winner for me, with a Dio circa 1984 feeling. As you see, this is a varied, always interesting album.
They switch again for ‘When We Were Young’, a magnificent ballad with an almost ’80s touch, a mix of classic Scorpions with the current Scandinavian scene sound. Love it.
‘Heaven’s No Place for Us’ is quite uptempo with a melody reminiscent of Allen / Lande, and why not, some Ten / Magnum.
‘Hand of God’ rocks with a melodious hard groove, including in the mid-section a surprising Spanish guitar arrangement. This band is quite unique, and works.
‘Rollerball’ makes justice to its title, perhaps the more ’80s sounding tune on the album, and a favorite. Early Europe guitar riffs / synths, soaring vocals, plus Deep Purple’s 1985 groove. Great one.
‘Troy’ close the album with some epicness, thundering rhythm section and huge vocals. The Japanese bonus is a beautifully crafted acoustic version of ‘Wind of Morrigan’, pretty different to the original.
You can hear all the last 40 years of heavy rock influences rolled into “Determinus”, in the Leverage hands, blended with originality and authenticity.
This band, as said, is quite unique. Heavy and melodic at the same time, imaginative. All songs / arrangements possesses a surprise, however, all flow easily and not distracting.
The scene was missing these guys, so welcome back Leverage. And with a superb album.
01. Burn Love Burn
02. Wind of Morrigan
04. Red Moon over Sonora
06. Afterworld’s Disciple
07. When We Were Young
08. Heaven’s No Place for Us
09. Hand of God
JAPAN BONUS TRACK:
12. Wind of Morrigan (Acoustic Version)
Kimmo Blom – vocals
Mikko Salovaara – guitars
Tuomas Heikkinen – guitars
Sami Norrbacka – bass
Valtteri Revonkorpi – drums
Marko Niskala – keyboards
BUY IT !