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   LEASH LAW
Dogface
2004
Black Lotus Records
http://www.leash-law.com

rating: 3/5

1. Fight
2. Dogface
3. Stealing Grace
4. Hail to Blood
5. Banion
6. Better Than Betrayed
7. Martial Law
8. Hellhole
9.Paving the Way

Leash Law was founded by vocalist Wade Black (Crimson Glory/Seven Witches/Tiwanaku) and guitarist Rick Renstrom (Rob Rock/Tiwanaku) early in 2003 probably as angry answer to all disappointments of the past years. I have to say I was very curious on the new project of Wade Black after he left Seven Witches. But I had no idea who his companions in arms were.

Like the advertisements already mention: there's no bigger selling point than the members of the band themselves: Wade Black (Crimson Glory/Seven Witches/Tiwanaku), Rick Renstrom (Rob Rock/Tiwanaku), Emo Mowery (Nocturnus/Tiwanaku), Stephen Elder (Rob Rock) and Richard Christy (Death/Control Denied/Iced Earth/Tiwanaku). Those talents have a very high reputation in the metal scene.

And on "Dogface" you can see why! Though I was pretty disappointed about the mixing of the CD. It could have been much better with the advertised equipment! The music itself has power and the right portion to be somewhat different.

What isn't so different but up-to-date is the theme of mankind's obsession with war through the whole album and of course the motivation to hold on. Leash Law has created music that disregards the standards of traditional power metal and diversifies its limitations. Just to pic three out:
In the title track "Dogface" there are soldiers that go first into battle, and mostly never return. Sad reality about the first rows in battle, sentenced to die for their country. Especially the crunchy riffing lets you feel the mood.
"Better When Betrayed" examines the often ruthless and unmerciful nature of the music business.
In "Banion", a mid-tempo ballad, Wade pays tribute to the most important people in his life, his recently passed mother as well as his wife and family. Here you can see the cascades of Wade's talent if he just takes time to grow in his own matters.

The very appealing album artwork is done by Seth and in an interesting way represents the concept of "Dogface".
I have to say that Leash Law is very good although I believe these guys could do much more...judging this far (debut album). Through the songs I get the feeling Black wants to sing much heavier than he can. You can still see that he is an exceptional singer but he could do better. I'm looking forward to give Leash Law another try on the upcoming tour which shall bring the band to locations world-wide.

submitted by Nadja 27.05.2004

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