Leverage – Determinus
A piano and an acoustic guitar kicks off the 7 minute plus opener “Burn Love Burn”. I haven´t heard the band before so it’s an open book in the land of melodic rock for me. However, they haven´t been active for the last ten years so I think I am forgiven. The first track walk along fellow countrymen Stratovarius and a slice of Deris era Helloween. “Wind Of Morrigan”, some Irish elements are put into the mix here and it suits the song perfectly. This is more suitable for Kimmo Blooms voice with more melody than the opener. The song got a chorus that would make HammerFall jealous. “Tiger”. Oh dear? What were those two first tracks? Someone pulled our legs? This is so much better. I might have been a bit harsh on the band in the beginning. It isn´t fantastic but much better than expected. This is modern day heavy metal.
“Red Moon over Sonora”. What I know Sonora is a place in northwestern Mexico. It’s a song that brought us back to the two first songs. Weaker than the two previous songs. A song that you hear once but don´t take much notice from. “Mephistocrate”. This is it! They must have fooled us completely with the opener. This is hard rock and not a band dancing along the AOR /Melodic rock road. This is more like something I can enjoy. “Afterworld Disciple” has a bassline similar to “Heaven And Hell” being heard in the intro, this is once again back to the strong chorus filled heavy metal they´ve proven that they can play.
I don´t know what to think of this record. On one hand they explore the simplest area of AOR/melodic rock, and the other, when they go for the harder part you clearly can hear modern day metal. “When We Were Young”: Lighters…oh sorry it´s 2019- Mobile phones up! Here´s the ballad of the album. Nothing more nothing less. If MTV would still play music videos this would be aired a lot. But a six minute ballad is far too long nowadays. Make a Radio edit of this one and it might hit some rock radio station airtime.
“Heavens no place for us”, the attitude that has been missing throughout the record do come out in the open here. This is what the band should be doing in the future keep exploring this kind of songs and refine it and try not to pick so many different areas of melodic rock in one record. When that’s done you might keep up the interest for a longer time. The music on this track is almost progressive in a way.
“Hand Of God”. I try so hard to forget the first part of the album. Like a cold icy car in the middle of the winter, it takes some time to warm both me and themselves up I think. The solo sounds a bit familiar but I can´t exactly place it where I heard it before.
“Rollerball” is a return to the melodic rock area they were doing earlier on. Gives me nothing but if you´re into Journey and Boston this is a song I think you´d like a lot.
“Troy” is the final track on a very mixed album. Please decide if you shall be playing hard rock /modern heavy metal or Melodic rock til the next record. When Leverage play it heavy they do it quite fine but if they don’t, not so much.
LABEL: Frontiers Records
DATE OF RELEASE:26/4-2019
STAND OUT TRACK:”Heaven´s No Place For Us