Saturday, January 3, 2015

REVIEW : Russel Allen & Mat Sinner / LEVEL 10 - Chapter One (2015)

LEVEL 10 is a new 'super-group' that consists of Russell Allen (Allen/Lande, Symphony X, Adrenaline Mob) on lead vocals,  Mat Sinner on bass, Roland Grapow on guitars, Alex Beyrodt on guitars, Randy Black on drums and the extremely talented Alessandro Del Vecchio on keyboards. Pretty impressive line-up!!!  On the songwriting side – besides the band members – the album also has contributions from Magnus Karlsson, Carsten Schulz, Ralf Scheepers, Johann Fiegl, Sander Gommans and Amanda Somerville.

So, on one hand with such a great list of musicians you can't go wrong and the success is guaranteed, some would say. On the other hand, over the past years a lot of super-groups didn't fulfill the expectations of the fans. But let's focus to this brand new project LEVEL 10 to see what the cat dragged in.

The vocal abilities of Mr. Allen are well-known to each and every single fan of melodic metal. He has a really impressive range of voices and he is able to sing everything very successful. Alex Beyrodt's and Roland Grapow's guitar lines are sharp, melodic and heavy while the rhythm section here is tight as hell!!! The sound can be described as melodic hard rock/metal with a strong emphasis on melodies, the powerful performances and the catchy choruses. Imagine a mix of 'new' HARDLINE with PRIMAL FEAR and some ALLEN/LANDE pinches here and there and you'll get a picture of how LEVEL 10 sounds.

Take for example the opening tune of "Cry No More" which is pure hard rock delight! It's a straight forward melodic heavy rock anthem that takes no prisoners! And when it comes to the chorus it's really explosive!!!  "No Turning Back" is yet another killer and old-fashioned heavy rock track while  in "Blasphemy" we have the first really HEAVY moment of the album. Primal Fear meets Symphony X in this melodic metal gem!! It's time for Alessandro Del Vecchio to put his mark with his brilliant and melodic keys on the amazing ballad of "All Hope Is Gone". For sure, this track is one of the album's highlights. Other highlights here are "The Soul Is Eternal" and "Last Man On Earth".

All in all, I have to say that I really enjoyed LEVEL 10 - Chapter One debut album a lot. The amazing performances of Russel Allen are the most impressive thing here. This guy is one of the best singers out there! The guitar lines of Beyrodt and Grapow are solid and Mat Sinner gives the bigger and more 'fat' sound to each and every song here. For the fans of all the above mentioned artists this album is a must have.

Rating : 8/10

Track Listing :
Cry No More; Soul Of A Warrior; When The Nighttime Comes; One Way Street; Blasphemy; Last Man On Earth; In For The Kill; Voice Of The Wilderness; All Hope Is Gone; Demonized; The Soul Is Eternal; Forevermore.

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