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Chainsheart - 'Leaving Planet Hell' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/fc/09/5f/Chainsheart-Leaving-Planet-Hell-39-1448565603.jpg Hot

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There are more than a few solid, guitar-laden, melodic tracks on it.

The island of Cyprus itself is not especially famous for producing much in the way of Rock bands, and it is certainly not a country you'd immediately (and specifically) associate with Melodic Hard Rock. However, that's exactly where Chainsheart was founded four years ago. Comprised of seasoned musicians and hailed to be the Mediterranean heir of Scorpions, Whitesnake and Journey, the five-piece now return with their second album 'Leaving Planet Hell'.

During several tracks, from 'Soul Kingdom' to 'Return To The Stage' and 'Dangerous Drop', Chainsheart sound a lot like other bands from the same general geographical area – Outloud and Reload being those which come to mind first. Hence, it leaves one thinking there must be something in the water... or perhaps it's Bob Katsionis' influence all over?

However, '...Hell' is not all bombastic, catchy Melodic Hard Rock. Here and there you can find a distinct NWOBHM influence, starting from 'Breeze' – a breath of fresh air indeed – and onto the subtly Power Metal-esque 'Flames That Rise'. A real highlight is the semi-ballad 'Mystery' with its clear, sharp guitar tone, acoustic passages, subtle echoes of Greek Folklore music and Led Zeppelin-meets-Whitesnake driving riffs.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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However, there's also a proverbial fly in the ointment here. One could have hardly called 'Final Destination' or the instrumental piece 'Journey' the outstanding parts of the album, even though the latter features some great lead guitar work. Also the ballad-ish final to the album, 'The Spell', is nice but somewhat uninspiring.

'Leaving Planet Hell' is neither an album of the year nor a crowning achievement for the Cypriot band – the latter certainly yet before them – but yet it is still enjoyable. While the bio promise of head-banging "non-stop upon listening to this album" were greatly exaggerated and there is nothing extraordinary about the release itself, there are more than a few solid, guitar-laden, melodic tracks on it.

On the one hand, it's doubtful if any 1980's Hard Rock antagonist would ever convert themselves into a staunch aficionado of the genre upon discovering Chainsheart's latest effort. On the other, fans of new groups who tend to look back into the musical past with their sound and melody – such as Outloud, Reload or H.e.a.t – should keep them on their radar from now on.

Alexandra Mrozowska

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