SLEDGE LEATHER – Imagine Me Alive
The return of ex-Chastain vocalist Leather Leone to the metal world! Along with drummer Sandy Sledge (Rude Girl, Malibu Barbi), Leather’s newest band Sledge Leather consists of some potent traditional players for recording purposes- as keyboardist Scott Warren and bassist Jimmy Bain both have performed with Dio in the past. The final component is guitarist Matthias Weisheit- and “Imagine Me Alive” is a quick hitting 11 track, 31 minute record that firmly entrenches itself in the 80’s traditional metal framework. Guitar riffs that are hook laden, melodic and in the power Dio/ Sabbath mold- a mix of high energy arrangements and the occasional, doomier cut as well as the always uncompromising screams and range of Leather Leone.
“Her Father’s Daughter” for instance is the longest cut at 4:53, a fine slice of epic doom that picks up its pace two-thirds of the way through to ensure non-stop head bang action- Matthias proving he can navigate comfortably at brooding tempos and shred with the best in the business. Scott Warren throws down all the secondary bells, whistles, and piano embellishments in a dark, Sabbath/ Savatage manner for standouts such as “A Taste Of Night” and shorter, almost black and white movie soundtrack-ish “Torch”. My only disappoint lies in the short overall time frame of the final recording- it would have been nice to have an extra song or two to savor, as the performances live up to the skills and talent of the musicians on hand.
“Imagine Me Alive” will not disappoint Chastain maniacs, and should be mandatory for those in the early 80’s Dio years, plus his work with Black Sabbath.