Power of Metal.dk Review

Level 10
Chapter 1
Style: Heavy Metal
Release date: 23 January, 2015
Playing time: 54:33

Level 10 is pretty much Primal Fear with Russell Allen on vocals. And that’s a statement which is both truthful and misleading. Here’s why...

One of the first things to strike me is that “Chapter 1” has an unambiguously Classic U.S.A. Metal sound, despite the German presence in the line-up. Some riffs and solos, in fact, seem taken directly off Racer X’s “Street Lethal” album from 1986. There are other comparisons I cannot help noting. For example the intro riff of ‘Voice of the Wilderness’ sounds like a Power Metal version of Black Sabbath’s ‘Heaven and Hell’. And the spiritual presence of a “Painkiller” era Judas Priest often makes an appearance. Therefore there’s a strong sense of ‘déjà vu’ in this album, especially when scrutinised with a Traditional Metal lens.

What sets “Chapter 1” apart, however, is the music’s incisive delivery, the quality of the sound, the quality of song writing... in short the overall quality of the material. And boy, believe me when I say there are some killer songs here. ‘One Way Street’ is not the album’s fastest song but the way the keyboards, hand percussions and heavy riffs interact, in addition to a catchy chorus and great guitar solos, make for a truly fantastic listening experience. ‘All Hope Is Gone’ is a cheesy but enjoyable power ballad. ‘Blasphemy’ is the closest the album gets to Symphony X and is another good song.

Speaking of which... as far as vocals are concerned, Russell Allen sounds just like he does in a Symphony X environment with his ubiquitously-layered vocal harmonies. And, once I’m pinpointing band members, guitarist Alex Beyrodt’s style of playing in this album often got me thinking of Jake E. Lee (Badlands, Ozzy Osbourne). Alessandro Del Vecchio succeeds in embellishing the songs without overstaying his presence as a keyboardist.

Despite all the name-dropping, “Chapter 1” doesn’t really need to stand on the shoulders of giants. It’s that good.

Russell Allen
: vocals (Symphony X, Adrenaline Mob, Allen/Lande)
Mat Sinner
: bass (Primal Fear, Sinner)
Alex Beyrodt
: guitars (Primal Fear, Sinner)
Randy Black
: drums (Annihilator, Primal Fear, Rebellion, Voodoo Circle, Missa Mercuria)
Alessandro Del Vecchio
: keyboards (Edge Of Forever, Silent Force, Eden’s Curse) 

Official album trailer:

01. Cry No More
02. Soul of a Warrior
03. When the Nighttime Comes
04. One Way Street
05. Blasphemy
06. Last Man on Earth
07. In for the Kill
08. Voice of the Wilderness
09. All Hope Is Gone
10. Demonized
11. The Soul Is Eternal
12. Forevermore
Label: Frontiers Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Chris Galea
Date: 17 January, 2015
Website: www.matsinner.com