Back in 2015, I had the pleasure of reviewing the original version of this and so it came as something of a surprise that David T Chastain had decided to re-record a relatively new album. In fact, this record is only re-recorded in terms of the guitars and bass, as the vocals and drums are left in tact. The guitar work is different in tone and the songs seem harder for it. Some of the song titles have been changed too, although my one disappointment was that “Against All The Gods” became the more generic “Against All The Odds” – I much preferred the original title!
Anyway, the album is definitely a different beast from the original, but blazing through it is the magificient vocals of the great Leather Leone. She is worth the price of admission alone, growling and serenading in equal measure. The album originally was a gold bar and the re-recording is still a great wall of sound.
The major highlights for me remain the same, with the songs “All Hail” and “SearchTime” being the pick of the tunes. It is funny, but comparing the two, you notice little acoustic intros being dispensed with, allowing the light and shade to disappear. I therefore feel slightly less warmth in this record, with its more aggressive style. I understand from David that this is due to a more live feel being sought and only one guitar track being used.
Leaving those minor issues aside, the album burns with super nova heat and rushes by in a breathless burst of adrenaline. The production is clear and the guitar work is exceptional. It definitely is music to work out to or to drive at 90mph at. The bass work is elegant and helps fill out the sound and the drumming is solid (albeit too low in the mix for my taste). The real star is Leather, whose vocals get better and better, maturing like fine wine.
Overall, a classy re-working of a solid album and one that sits well in the Chastain catalogue.