Lechery - We Are All Born Evil

Lechery We Are All Born Evil cover
We Are All Born Evil
Bleeding Music Records
Ack! I can barely contain my excitement and joy upon gleaning Lechery’s latest (and first release in seven years!), “We Are All Born Evil”, hot off the press courtesy of Blood Music Records, so bear with me as I do it justice without falling out of my chair or breaking it into a million little pieces.
Hailing from Halmstead, Sweden, Lechery is fronted by guitarist Martin Bengtsson (who assumed bass duties on Arch Enemy’s 1998 sophomore, “Stigmata”), and assembled with fellow axe slinger Fredrik Nordstrandh to the backdrop of an imposing battery which bangs, thwacks and booms its way through ten dynamic behemoths like a madman forcibly swinging a leather bag of hammers at the slightest provocation. The production on this affair is prodigious; the crunchy yet sumptuously gained guitar tones are tailor-made to order while the girth-y guitar riffs and powerful yet considerately enunciated vocals carry the listener on a crushing tidal wave of heavy, hard-rocking goodness right from the start without letting up.
Now, I’ve been hornswoggled by gripping openers time and again but by the time the festive, Manowar-ish arena rock styled “Heavy Metal Invasion” gives way to the slam-bashing rollicker “Let It Out”, I knew I had a winner on my hands. Effectively, there are no dull or saccharine moments, sappy ballads, coy interludes or cheesy intros as each musical bar makes the most of things; in fact, every lyrical line, be it from the enveloping verses or catchy choruses, would make a fine title for this review. In addition, Bengtsson’s manly mid-ranged vocals are clear and concise, further upping the ante and making this an instantly accessible and rewarding experience. What about lead guitar, you may ask? Mein Gott! The abundant solos herein are outstanding, never repetitive, super colorful and richly phrased. Really, I need to get a hold of myself lest I “lecherously” salivate over my keyboard.
During its maiden spin I knew I was on to something but it’s really my second listen, which ardently mashed in my ever-lasting approval like an ironclad fist coming down hard and fast. Nordstrandh and Bengtsson’s stocky mid-tempo riffs display the same “taut n’ stout” bad-ass-ness as those of Accept, Manowar, Saxon and Judas Priest while at times yanking one’s chain with a mighty, Zeus-like grip thanks to impeccably timed squeals and stellar bridge harmonies/escalations, such as three minutes into “Breaker of Chains” (!) or the massively affecting stop & go motion of “Spineless” – whose opening riff is a sophisticated spin-off of Anvil’s “Oh, Jane!” from 1981 – at 02:07 before the floodgates spill out in the form of Nordstrandh’s wicked keyboard implements, wall-to-wall, plastering drums fills and Bengtsson’s awesome: “When I rise and you fall!”, along with Lechery’s usual panoply of combustive leads.
At this point, I feel the need to backtrack to “Let It Out”, the top highlight, which is largely responsible for “We Are All Born Evil” clinching such a high rating and gushing praise (it also floored a housemate and metal head “en herbe”, who’s ridiculously picky when it comes to production and backing components i.e. drum and bass). There’s something to be said about this track’s stalwart liberating appeal, notably Bengtsson’s seizing verses and timeless refrain; I don’t think I’ve been enamored by a chorus in such enthralling fashion since Johnny Touch’s “The Metal Embrace”, from the Aussies’ full-length debut, “Inner City Wolves”. The pounding opening drum swats and brawny guitar riff alone make me want to throw my head back and yowl into the night at the top of my lungs but it’s really the chorus which has me return again and again:
“Turn on the magic
It’s time to lose control / play the game
See all the faces screaming loud!
We want to play it louder
Strike fear into their eyes
Do you want to run forever?
Bang your head until the end/
Raise your fist and let it out!
Let it out! (x2)”
Damn! The majestic, sky-high lead break which succeeds is one for the ages! The no-nonsense, whiplashing title track’s chorus is another which makes for kick-ass cruisin’ down the highway metal while featuring yet more scorching solos.
A further component which enlivens the majority of tracks is the all-out fist-pumping and engaging backing vocals, whether they complement the swashbuckling, stadium sized anthems, which make up the better part of the album, from said twin arse-kicking openers to the wizened riffing and intimidating roar of “Sacrifice” by way of the wild, mind-bending and eye-brow singing solo infused “Rule the World” (dig its razor sharp secondary riff which is driving me bananas as I can’t put my finger on which band/song it reminds me of!), or later saturnine monstrosities such as the knavish ode “Even A Hero Must Die” and pleasantly sonorous closer “Tip of the Whip”, whose poised, suspenseful riffing brings to mind Accept’s “Dark Side of My Heart”. That said, if you revel in the Germans’ Blind Rage there’s a very strong chance you’ll dig “We Are All Born Evil” – to the center of the Earth! “Tip of the Whip” also features a prominent ancient and militant sounding march thanks to the epically whirling guitar harmonies and rambunctious, deafening drum beats.
Other instances which stir me into a right furniture defiling frenzy are the restrained, down-picked and palm muted riffing giving way to a stupefying instrumental explosion forty seconds into “Hold on to the Night” – where it sounds like Kristian Wallman decides to play a ferocious game of “whack-a-mole” with his drum kit , a rampant and hard-driven, arresting guitar riff withstanding – as well as the timely bone-jarring whip cracks peppering “Even A Hero Must Die” (it’s as if they were intended for “Tip of the Whip”, but the band simply couldn’t wait any longer to indulge itself!). Also of note also is how closely Bengtsson’s vocal inflections and overall old-school metal-ness parallels Ronnie James Dio (RIP) on “Hold on to the Night”.
As implied, this review wouldn’t be complete without giving accolades to bassist Martin Karlsson, who indefatigably provides the killer momentum and rumbling swagger necessary to thrust the listener in a glorious forward tumble while incessantly clamoring for more
Aside from “Heavy Metal Invasion”’s glaring redundancy I can’t find any fault with Lechery’s “We Are All Born Evil” – it’s a fun, enthusiastic head-banging journey and throwback to metal’s golden age through and through. Mediocre scores for previous albums likely reflect a band striving to define itself or simply a direct, no-frills approach, which fails to rouse more extreme metalheads beyond a cursory glance. If you consider yourself an authority on meat & potatoes traditional heavy metal (with extra gravy), as I, you’ll lap Lechery right up.
Enjoy, as this modern-day classic represents heavy metal in its purest distilled form.