You know an album is getting it right when it makes you nostalgic for a decade you barely remember, and Lechery’s third album We are all Born Evil does exactly that. In some ways the album is a pure tribute to the Metal culture of the 80s, driven by chunky riffs and good versus evil sensibilities – a direction that may be unexpected for those who remember frontman Martin Bengtsson as the bassist of Arch Enemy! However, the album brings just enough of the modern flavour of heaviness to make it stand out from classic 80s acts or their modern imitators.
‘Heavy Metal Invasion’ opens the album with chunky riffs that immediately bring to mind the New Wave of British Heavy Metal of the 70s and 80s, but a little heavier. Indeed, Bengtsson’s vocals absolutely embrace that style, with a punk attitude comparable to Saxon’s Biff Byford. There is a little bit of a growl and snarl in the chorus, though there are certainly no “Cookie Monster” vocals to be heard on the album. At one point in the track there is an easily identifiable homage to Iron Maiden’s ‘The Trooper,’ which is by no means a bad thing. One of the only weaknesses that recurs throughout the album is that Lechery commit the very cheesy sin of being a Metal band who sing about Metal.
‘Let it Out’ kicks the speed and energy up a notch with Kristian Wallman’s fast-paced drums and Bengtsson and Fredrik Nordstrandh’s roaring guitars. Reverb-laden vocals transport the listener even more fully back to the 80s, while lyrics such as, “Even good men find the path to destroy themselves,” nod to the good versus evil moralising of 80s pop culture. ‘Let it Out’ includes some lovely twin guitar solos, as raw as anything to come out of the 80s.
‘We are All Born Evil’ is a powerful track, a little heavier than what’s come before. This is good, chunky Metal with some trilling chords for good measure. The instrumental / solo section is slightly darker and more ominous, but never loses the dynamism and raw energy of classic Heavy Metal, with the track resolving back to a more hopeful feel in the end.
‘Rule the World’ is another song about Metal culture, but it is fairly inspiring if you can look past the cheese. ‘Rule the World’ is one of the fastest songs on the album, with rapid-fire drumming and crazy guitar from the get-go.
‘Hold on to the Night’ is pounding and crunchy, but more of a brooding track than what’s come before. There is a slightly more threatening vibe to the vocals in the beginning, a bit more reverb in the drums and a hum to the guitars. After these ominous moments the track kicks into fast-paced, straight-up Metal once again, though with a bit more of a sense of urgency. Even the solos in this song have more of an edge to them.
‘Breaker of Chains’ maintains the heaviness of the previous track, while also getting a little faster again and holding onto the sense of urgency. This track is the high point of the tension that has slowly built throughout the course of the album so far, with even a touch of Primal Fear’s Ralf Scheepers to the vocals. This track also includes some of the most frenzied solos on the album.
‘Sacrifice’ is arguably the most straightforward Heavy Metal track on the album, while ‘Even a Hero must Die’ turns in the direction of Viking Metal a la Amon Amarth with its powerful call to battle, brilliant solos contrasting beautifully with the galloping riff.
‘Spineless’ is a fast-paced, big and heavy track, with some of the tastiest, crunchiest riffs on the album. This track is also underscored with a wonderful bass rumble courtesy of Martin Karlsson, leading the listener into the absolutely massive climax of the album, ‘Tip of the Whip.’ This track captures all the best elements of the foregoing tracks to deliver a true anthem for We are all Born Evil. This guitar-driven journey through victory and glory absolutely leaves the album on a high note.
We are all Born Evil is a rock-solid Metal offering that will absolutely thrill fans of classic bands like Judas Priest, Saxon and Manowar, while at the same time having a heavy appeal that should win the approval of fans of more modern Thrash and Power Metal. An album to transcend subgenres, it will no doubt also offer a great deal in live performance. A brilliant piece of work.