In An Outrage
5/26/2005 - Review by: Eric Compton
Chastain - In An Outrage - 2004 - Leviathan Records
David Chastain and company ride in from the wasteland with a new chapter, a different tale to tell, this time "In An Outrage" with a new record of fury filled metal anthems. When lifting this rather vibrant disc out of it's tray liner, a revelation will be revealed. C8. Interesting, and a bit alarming really. This is the eight Chastain album to date, a long and historical career from a true living legend. Chastain and company have unleashed some of the finest metal upon the world, starting out with the sensational Leather Leone at the helm on the classic debut "Mystery Of Illusion" in 1984. Since then David has never compromised his integrity, has never confused or dismissed his fans. Those strong intentions and aspirations are the rivets that hold this metal machine in place, precise nuts and bolts that have held their share of change and mystery over the years, but have never swayed or faltered. Chastain are the provider of fine goods, a rock steady rung on a rather shaky metal ladder of late. While so many bands change ships, replace names, and go with the trends, Chastain has always remained true to his roots, shredding and blazing on every piece of material put in front of him. "In An Outrage" is no different, although I had some suspicions when reading that this may be the most modern Chastain piece to hit the streets. After many listens the modern tendencies are there, but by no means is this a radical change or shift in this man's legendary sound. If anything this is simply a fresh element, one that really ties everything together nicely and still allows room for experimentation. This is classic metal, forged through blood and sweat and no trends or suits and ties can change that.
"In An Outrage" is the second collaboration between Chastain and Kate French. Kate signed up for this mission in '97, and joined on board for Chastain's "In Dementia" record, the first without Leather Leone's strong, charismatic voice. Kate showed she had all of the fire and determination of Leather, really showcasing an amazing vocal ability, one that can shift and change much like Leather's. Her soothing, underlying tone can be rather hypnotic, and at other times her strong aggressive demeanor slides through in a high pitched delivery. Now, eight years later Kate is back and better than ever. Aligning herself once again with David Chastain, they gas and go through ten mighty tunes of heavy metal thunder.
David steps in to produce this gem, with mixing and mastering done by Christian Schmid at the Music Factory in Kemten, Germany. The sound is extraordinary, sounding gritty and raw but at the same time not losing that fresh, polished sound. Along with the fine production and mastering comes a couple of new additions, fine musicians in drummer Larry Howe and bassist Dave Starr. Those of you unaware of those two are probably not up to speed on the Floridian metal scene and a rather important metal band called Vicious Rumors. Both of those contributed on quite possibly some of the finest American metal albums ever made; "Soldiers Of The Night", "Digital Dictator", "Welcome To The Ball", and "Vicious Rumors". It is just awe inspiring really, to think of those talented musicians joining the Chastain force. It makes a perfect marriage and really helps create that extra spark for "In An Outrage".
Musically speaking this isn't a far cry from the past Chastain albums. The more modern power metal feel is here, much like many of today's Euro metal bands, the Brainstorms, the Sinners, the Primal Fears of the world. This neo-classical, classic heavy metal sound is obviously evident, but the more modern tendencies do creep in from time to time. At times I can sort of hear what Priest was experimenting with on "Jugulator" and "Demolition" but it isn't to that extreme. I can hear some stop-and-go riffs, some effects, and even some more groovy elements as opposed to previous recordings. But it is all very minor in the grand scope of things. As I mentioned earlier it is just simply a fresh element, a little extra eye candy after seven albums of staying rather consistent and, dare I say, regular.
Kate French has written all of the tracks here, and her songwriting is very interesting. She is a very motivational speaker, really demanding full attention on crunchy, aggressive numbers like "Malicious Pigs" and "Bullet From A Gun". Her pen has a lot of lost love in it's ink, with many cuts showing off bitter relationships or lost love. Those sort of messages come across in "New Beginnings" and "Tortured Love". French's rather seductive charm comes into play on the sultry and forbidden "Women Are Wicked". Something completely new to me this time around is her gothic tone. That Nightwish/Evanescence delivery can be found on parts of "Souls The Sun", "Rule The World", and "Hamunaptra".
But enough about Kate, let's talk about the master and commander, the legendary David Chastain. His guitar style is definitely unique, with Vainglory/Kinrick axe-slinger Corbin King and Greece's Gus G. comparing to him in a lot of ways. On "In An Outrage" David pretty much runs the same plays as before, but always keeping it interesting and entertaining. His chops are simply massive, at times playing the modern vibe before exploding into full classic metal mode. Grooves, wicked chops, addictive hooks, and soaring solos are the tools of the trade and David does all of them extremely well. With the addition of experienced players like Howe and Starr, heaven even got a little more glamorous. Favorite cuts for me are "Malicious Pigs", "Rule The World", and "Bullet From A Gun".
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