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Leeches of Lore - "Leeches of Lore" (CD)

Leeches of Lore - "Leeches of Lore" CD cover image

"Leeches of Lore" track listing:

1. Machrochelys Temminckii
2. I Am the Raptor
3. Cenozoic Death Waltz
4. Pig Scrapings
5. Black Cognac
6. Cougar vs. Bear
7. Leeches of Lore
8. The Champion Breeders
9. Dance of the Fairy at the Springtime Witching
10. Western Skies
11. Why, Toe-Bot?

Reviewed by on November 22, 2010

"Every track has a completely different sound and independent identity; while one song may be a thrash metal masterpiece, the next is an acoustic pop song drenched in heavy country rock undertones."

It took a massive amount of time to come to the conclusion that yes, this album is in fact real. Never before have I heard an album so random and sporadic, not to mention frustrating. Every track has a completely different sound and independent identity; while one song may be a thrash metal masterpiece, the next is an acoustic pop song drenched in heavy country rock undertones. Way too many influences are crammed into the album's twelve track length, and while a few songs show incredible amounts of promise, others are just an absolute abomination. Leeches of Lore sure is one weird duo.

The first two tracks featured on "Leeches of Lore" are actually quite good. No scratch that, the first two songs are downright amazing. "Macrochelys Temminckii," while being a mouthful and having a horrible intro sample, is a song deeply rooted in the church of Black Sabbath. The riffs are chunky, thick, and heavy as hell. The vocals, while slightly higher for a song of this style, fit well into the vibe of the track. The following song, "I Am the Raptor," is even better; stepping things up to some early 80's thrash metal that could have fit right in the middle of Metallica's "Kill Em All." A speed metal attack featuring intense riffing and absolutely phenomenal solos create a listen that truly rivals any song to date in the speed and thrash metal genres. Unfortunately once the first two tracks come and go the momentum hits a brick wall and never manages to pick itself back up.

Everything from "Cenozoic Death Waltz" onwards features a completely different genre of music. One moment things sound strikingly similar to a mediocre Dream Theater, the next is a full on acoustic country rock anthem. Nothing ever comes close to reaching the brilliance of the first two songs, which is an extreme shame seeing as the album is twelve tracks deep. While things get bad as the disc goes on, Leeches of Lore hit absolute rock bottom with "The Champion Breeder." Believe it or not "The Champion Breeder" sounds like a remake of an Alvin and the Chipmunks theme, complete with the super high-pitched, annoying vocal effects. How a band can go from writing a thrash metal masterpiece to children's theme music all within one record is mind blowing to say the least, and is a tremendous waste of potential.

There's not much else that can be said about Leeches of Lore's self-titled debut. While the first two tracks are highly recommended for any metal fan, the remaining ten tracks are, sadly, a complete joke and a waste of time spent listening to any of them. With the total running length reaching nearly a full hour by the time the album is finished, the magic of "Macrochelys Temminckii" and "I Am the Raptor" is long gone and nearly forgotten. The duo is undoubtedly talented and there are moments that demonstrate that but this New Mexico act needs to take some time to gain focus and narrow things down to a singular style. Hopefully Leeches of Lore will decide to go with thrash metal because even I still can’t get "I Am the Raptor" out of my head.

Highs: The opening two tracks are great and "I Am the Raptor" is a thrash metal masterpiece.

Lows: The other ten tracks on the album.

Bottom line: Worth checking out for the first two insanely heavy songs. The pop and country stuff, not so much.

Rated 1.5 out of 5 skulls
1.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)