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Leather Leaf - 'Desecrated Minds' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/a0/7d/cf/leather-leaf-desecrated-minds-55-1522952474.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 05, 2018    
 
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Whether through the perfunctory songs, off kilter vocals or dreadful sound, Leather Leaf unfortunately fall well short of the mark.

Having previously pinned their mast to the good ship Hard Rock, Leather Leaf now find themselves desperately chasing the over-burdened bandwagon of Symphonic Metal. With some press sources talking of Nightwish meeting M�tley Cr�e and others suggested outfits such as Evanescence, Disturbed and Symphony X as influences, the sad news is that Leather Leaf hit none of those lofty aspirations.

The issues run deep, the muddy sound and lifeless guitars not able to hide the below par vocals from Melissa Madnezz, an undoubtedly talented lady who seems to have been squeezed into a style that neither suits her, nor shows her abilities in a kind light. When things are Symphonic, her high-end register is hanging on for dear life, while the lack of power she brings to the meatier moments just feels symptomatic of this whole release.

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However, when 'White Picket Fence' lands somewhere between Symphonic Metal and Enya, suddenly this lady comes into her own, the more restrained style showing an enigmatic and atmospheric side to her voice that simply isn't able to come through elsewhere. However, a similar passage during 'Barely Alive' (which appears in both full and edited lengths) is admittedly beguiling.

Musically, things are hardly inspired, the safe options taken every time as 'This Haunting' and 'Delete Me' (don't tempt us...) attempt to infuse the merest hint of energy into proceedings. Yet with 'On The Radio' closer to the straight-up Hard Rock the band reportedly favoured before, the guitar playing from Max Montiel does spark into life, the grating riff a much more believable prospect than the Symphonic styling attempted elsewhere; but even here Madnezz struggles to match the intensity and any hopes of hitting the jackpot are dashed. With the Symphonic Metal market verging on saturation point, any newcomers really need to be on their game to have a chance of survival. Whether through the perfunctory songs, off kilter vocals or dreadful sound, Leather Leaf unfortunately fall well short of the mark.

Steven Reid

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