Chastain
For Those Who Dare (reissue)

The band Chastain, home to virtuoso guitarist and label owner David T. Chastain, and female vocal goddess Leather Leone, was one of the most grossly overlooked, underappreciated heavy metal bands of the 1980s. Combining US power metal along the lines of Sanctuary and Metal Church with a neo-classical flair, they released five albums by 1990, the last of which (before the departure of Ms. Leone) was For Those Who Dare.

Jumping from the guitarists own label Leviathan to the waiting arms of Roadrunner, the band had high hopes for For Those Who Dare. Sadly, apart from a video for the title track getting decent play on Headbanger’s Ball, the Roadrunner partnership yielded the band very little. I say sadly because this album is really good!

Now David T is a monster guitarist; an arpeggio wielding technician if there ever was one. The real star of this album, however, is one Leather Leone. This woman carried twice the power and range of any other female in metal. Forget Betsy Bitch, forget Doro…Leather Leone is an absolute powerhouse! Equal parts Dio, Dickinson and Ann Wilson, she didn’t sing songs so much as she attacked them. The soaring chorus of the title track, the hateful snarl of “The Mountain Whispers”, the piercing wail of “Please Set Us Free”; all testament to the fact that this woman IS Heavy Metal.

Musically, the riffs chug, grind and fly in all directions. The lead playing of Mr. Chastain is especially deft, easily rivaling Malmsteen, Friedman or any other Shrapnel Records shredder. The vibe of the album is dark, angry and passionate. Moving seamlessly from headbanging tempos (“Secrets Of The Damned”), to slithering, pounding groove riffs (“Not Much Breathing”), to more ambient intros (“Night Of Anger”) there isn’t a bad song to he had. There’s even a pissed off cover of Heart‘s “Barracuda”. The tones and edge are all given new life by Jamie King’s (Between The Buried And Me producer) impressive remastering job.

For fans of US power metal, this album is essential. If you missed it the first time around, or want to hear it in its newly remastered glory, definitely pick it up. This will turn out to be my favorite reissue of the year!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Shawn Pelata
February 21st, 2011

Comments

  1. Commented by: Timmy

    Spot on, Shawn!


  2. Commented by: King Cripple

    I wholeheartedly agree. This is THE reissue of the year and Divebomb Records is sorely overlooked. I hope there Anacrusis release will point more people in their direction. Great stuff and spot on review!


  3. Commented by: Lionel Ulloa Jr.

    David T. Chastain, for me is a timeless guitar god. This is reissue was long-awaited “For those who” follow his overshadowed osbcure career.

    Grettings From Panama.


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