LEADBREAKER is a Swedish traditional metal band with an early 80s sound. Rightfully so, some […]
By Rachel Montgomery
December 22, 2020
LeadBreaker - LeadBreaker album cover

LEADBREAKER is a Swedish traditional metal band with an early 80s sound. Rightfully so, some listeners have pointed out their sound matches early ACCEPT and compared their songs to tracks like "The Mob Rules". Upon closer inspection, their first full-length album LeadBreaker is a mix of punk, thrash, progressive, and power metal. It's an interesting mix, full of beautiful highs, but also full of some cringey lows.

I have to admit, on the first listen, I wasn't impressed. The vocals were a turn-off on the first listen, especially on more straightforward, punk influenced songs like the opening track, "Wild & Free". The vocals are clear, but the straightforward lyrics aren't exactly poetry (though I'll admit that's the punk influence, especially in the chanting chorus). However, on my second and third run-throughs, I found really nice intricacies in the guitar work, and some nice spots in the vocals. "The Hammer Strikes" has a nice vocal melody and the vocals remind me of a mix between Canadian rocker BILLY TALENT and Geddy Lee of RUSH fame. The guitar solo and the guitar outro on the first two tracks are melody heaven, utilizing the traditional metal sound to perfection. Another noteworthy mention is the bass opening of "Sacrifice". Despite the straightforward lyrics, the intricate guitar melody and harmonies bring some much-needed complexity to this song.

 "Into The Fire" is a special case. With an opening lyric that screams "concert opener" and a couplet hook in the chorus - "/we're all rotten to the core" - this high-powered song is a standout on the album. Some of the high notes sound strained on "Uncrown The King" (note to singers, warm up BEFORE hitting the recording studio), but overall are good. At first, the outro is the same harsh melody throughout the song. Then, its guitar solo is wonderfully melodic and the intricate, complex outro at the end is a welcome surprise.

The best example of the parallels between their wonderful melodic instrumentals and blunt vocals and lyrics is "New World Order" - this song's lyrics are the opposite of subtle as they beat you over the head with their anti-conformity message. However, the melodic outro at the end of the song is gold. Even if you hate blunt lyrics or nasally punk vocals, it's worth waiting to hear the instrumental break. It begins like the rest of the song, but then it suddenly shifts to a soft, cruising guitar melody that picks up speed like a fast car on an empty freeway. Easily, while I'm not a fan of the song overall, I love this part of the song.

Of the songs on the album, "A Test From The Gods" is the most traditional power metal song on the album, complete with Viking-inspired lyrics. Like "New World Order", its softer, melodic instrumental and refrain are gorgeous. The final two songs, "Running Out Of Time" and "LeadBreaker" are the most punk on the album. The first one is a rousing anthem to chase your dreams before its too late. It's their most punk-inspired song. The final track has some nice sweeps and thrash elements to close us out.

The way the album left us, I'd have to say if you're into early metal and punk, and with the two would fuse, this is your album. If you're more into the melodic side of metal, this album may give you a couple listens before it steals your heartstrings. If you're turned off by brash punk lyrics and less-than-perfect vocals, this would probably be a skip. However, if you're into traditional metal guitar work and instrumental harmonies, the album is worth checking out.

8 / 10









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"LeadBreaker" Track-listing:

1. Wild & Free
2. The Hammer Strikes
3. Sacrifice
4. Into The Fire
5. Uncrown The King
6. New World Order
7. A Test From The Gods
8. Torture (In The Night)
9. Running Out Of Time
10. LeadBreaker

LeadBreaker Lineup:

Daniel Olsson - Vocals, Guitars
Tommy Söder - Guitars
Marcus Winchester - Bass
Oskar Holmgren - Drums

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