venerdì 23 marzo 2018

Leech - "Cyanide Christ" (LL Production, 2013/Defense Records, 2017)

Band: Leech
Title: Cyanide Christ
Genre: Thrash Metal
Year: 2013 (LL Production)
         6th December 2017 (Defense Records)
Time: 43 min
Rating: 81/100

After Formis, this is "Cyanide Christ" by Leech, another CD from the mega-pack from Marcin of Mythrone Promotion! Leech is a project created in an unspecified period (2003, if I understood correctly) by people of the calibre of Jens C. Mortensen (vocals), Jari Kuusisto (rhythm guitars) and Lars Lindèn (bass) from Carnal Forge, Magnus Söderman (lead guitars) from Nightrage and Stefan Westerberg (drums) from Skineater and ex-Carnal Forge, so we are talking about real veterans of the Swedish death/thrash metal scene. So far, their only release under the name of Leech is the album "Cyanide Christ", that was published by the small label from Sweden LL Production but, 4 years later, the stronger Polish Defense Records thought well to reissue it on CD so to give to it a better distribution. This means that, finally, many maniacs can enjoy now this thrashing slab that was remained mostly forgotten at the time of its first release!

No stupid intro opens this album, so Leech already destroys the ears of the listeners with the track "Barely Alive" through an angry thrash metal! Their sound is raging, fast and hammering, especially in "The Avenger", surely the most violent number of "Cyanide Christ", even though, contrarily to many today's thrash metal bands, Leech don't play blast-beats in any case. All this rage is greatly increased by Jens, that, paraphrasing a track from the album, shouts 'n' spite the whole time but creating also memorable vocal lines, as perfectly exemplified by the chorus of the same "The Avenger" ("I am the avenger/I am your God/I am the purest evil/And I'm in you"). In addition, Leech, a band able to mix the old-school influences (Metallica, for example) with modernist solutions à la The Haunted, show other interesting features beyond the pure rage.
First of all, the album is enriched by two mid-tempo numbers like the combative "The Real Me" and "Hollow Eyes" (that contains also very effective slow parts with spoken vocals), surely one of my standout tracks. Then, the same Jens is good to create more singalong lines that, sometimes, are even close to the vocal style of James Hetfield, like in "No Exit". Time to time, there are also some melodic hooks that reminds me a lot of the classic Gothenburg-sound, and I think that this is a natural consequence of the past experiences of some members in bands like the In Thy Dreams (and speaking of them, I have to say that I've got in my CD collection "War Dance Vol. 1", a 1998 compilation featuring not only just In Thy Dreams but also Carnal Forge, Darkane, Eucharist, Naglfar and others). In particular, the melodic taste of Leech is exalted by the elegant and creative guitar solos of Magnus Söderman, as you can hear, for example, in "No Exit".

So, after 43 minutes of an intense and angry thrash metal, the impression cannot but be nice, even though I found a bit static the drumwork, at least in some passages (i.e. "Barely Alive") but there's nothing able to seriously compromise the final result. The real problem is another: in fact, it's a total shame that Leech are only a project since, if I am not mistaken (but I hope I'm wrong!), they have never played live. I am saying this because I strongly believe that songs like "Hollow Eyes", "The Avenger", "Chaotic", "Bleached Gods" and "No Exit" can be really amazing on stage in front of an headbanging and enthusiastic audience. Soooo...Leech, start ABSOLUTELY to play on stage, right?

1 - Barely Alive
2 - Piss 'n' Spite
3 - Hollow Eyes
4 - Condemned
5 - The Real Me
6 - The Avenger
7 - Chaotic
8 - Bleached Gods
9 - Distorted
10 - No Exit
11 - Unsurpassed


Jens C. Mortensen - vocals
Jari Kuusisto - rhythm guitars
Magnus Söderman - lead guitars
Lars Lindèn - bass
Stefan Westerberg - drums

Defense Records:

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