|Lechery - 'In Fire' (Metal Heaven)|
|Written by Matt Phelps|
|Thursday, 15 December 2011 05:30|
Judging books by their covers. You'd think I'd have learnt that particular lesson a long time ago but once again I'm caught off guard and getting slapped like a bitch for my ignorance. This time the reason I have the imprint of a studded glove slapped across my face is down to Swedish metalheads Lechery, so let me explain.
My expectations weren't high as I dropped Lechery's 'In Fire' into the CD tray. I fully expected to be subjected to some poorly formulated second rate Euro trash where the composition was of a similar ilk to the disc itself, ie shiny, plastic and extremely thin. The cover art left me convinced that I was in store for some bargain basement Dokken with little prospect of any real rokken. A questionable fist in the most non leather looking leather glove this side of Top Shop's rock chic stock holding a flimsy chain of such low grade steel it would struggle to hold Paris Hilton's chihuahua in place for longer than thirty seconds is not the type of image you'd associate with serious quality metal. In short it looked as camp as Judas Priest's 'Hot Rockin' video and I expected the music to be the same.
But Hell was I wrong. As the fire starts with 'Mechanical Beast' 'In Fire' clamps its titanium jaws around your metal heart and injects a steady stream of cranked up riffs that sound like a face off between Kai Hansen and Zakk Wylde. Vocalist Martin Bengtsson (who once played bass for Arch Enemy trivia fans) has an incredibly solid voice with an impressive range that at times has echoes of Klaus Meine all but with a little extra grit between the teeth to give it that more aggressive sounding metal bite. 'Burning Anger' fans the flames higher with a soaring chorus while 'Heart Of A Metal Virgin' is the best 'heart' based metal song I've heard since Gamma Ray's 'Heart Of The Unicorn'. A quick look at that particular CD tells me that's ten years ago now.....Fuck!
'Lethal' is just that, a prime slice of killing metal. Drum beats, precise and direct, hammer out like Scott Travis sending morse code while the riffs just keep flying out on six string overload. Impressive. I was expecting shit but got shit hot. Metal so hot it gives you chills. On the whole the approach to 'In Fire' is as old school as a Victorian slate, big bass lines, crashing drums and searing guitars, just the way it should be. Yet it also keeps its feet planted firmly in the present faithfully representing a metal sound that is fresh, exciting and vibrant with the album's fine production job making every note sound razor sharp and dangerous. 'Cross The Line' throws out another instantly addictive cutting riff. Avantasia is a name I keep coming back to but mix that with a little Accept and it'll be nearer the mark. There's some seriously megalithic riffs on 'In Fire'. Proper old school guitar work features heavily throughout sometimes conjuring up almost classic Dio like moments with a delivery that's passionate and which radiates style.
Continuing with 'Lust For Sin' Lechery switch to a slow driving groove of sexuality that has such a Scorpions vibe it makes me wanna chew some strawberry Hubba Bubba and go on a Lovedrive before 'We All Gonna Rock You Tonight' brings the savage amusement to an end in the album's final spirit lifting spinal tapping track. Following on from 2008's 'Violator' debut this sophomore effort from Lechery really is a stunning piece of metal that deserves to be heard. A future classic? If it gets the right exposure it really could be. I do hope so, I know I'll certainly be rockin' out to this for many years to come.