Imagine Me Alive
By Todd Jolicouer
With a name like this, you had better rock the f*ck out of a disc. On the songs that are actual rock tracks, Sledge Leather does exactly that. The problem here is that there are quite a few interludes and intros that could have been built up or replaced with harder rocking numbers.
"Imagine Me Alive" is an awesome way to open the disc. Leather unleashes her vocals and one can only resolve that this is exactly what Dio would have sounded like with less testosterone and more estrogen. Let's not minimize the thunderous drumming from Sandy Sledge. "Torch" is a fluffy piano piece with some type of lyric that accompanies it, but it is lost on me. "The Guy Upstairs Lied" digs back in and gives us another view of the aggressive side of the band. The music is there and the vocals are huge. Once again the band does metal proud. Then comes "Illusions Opus I." I am still trying to find the reasoning behind the musical interludes.
"Her Father's Daughter" has a very cool musical piece lying underneath the lyrics. In a recent interview with Leather, she pointed out this song was close to her. One listen to the lyrics and there is no doubt this song has come from deep within. Again, the musicianship is great. This band is cranking along on all cylinders. Although "Her Father's Daughter Piano Reprise" is the apparent follow-up to "Illusions Opus I," I still fail to see the usefulness of these tracks, as they don't seem to add to the mood created here. "A Taste Of Night" picks right back up with the metal. The drums are crisp, the guitars larger than life, and the vocals carry themselves with a very large stick ready to strike. The lead into the song is powerful and adds to the song. If this much work had been poured into the other interludes, this disc would be killer from start to finish.
"One Glimpse" is the mellow rock tune here. The piano work reminds me of earlier tracks, but the gritty dark vocals quickly remind you there is no fluff on this track. The guitar work in the background is haunting and creates quite the dance with Leather's voice. "Fast Forgiveness" is the kick-ass, fuck-yes, horns-in-the-air introduction I have been looking for. Sandy is absolutely destroying her set here. "The Lost Forgiveness" takes the mood of the accompanying interlude and builds on it while slowing it down. The vocals play tag with the guitars, bass, and drums. Each of the instruments gets its moment in the spotlight here. "Sisyphus" takes us out with a very keyboard heavy track. I keep imagining the introductions to so many Deep Purple songs; it's not a bad thing to be compared to Deep Purple, but I can think of better things to be compared to them for.
Sledge Leather - if you love 80's metal… not the glam stuff… real metal - Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Dio - this is the disc for you. Sit back, turn it up, get your horns ready, and rock out with these rocking ladies… on the full tracks and "Fast Forgiveness" intro.
Review posted 12 June 2012