David T. Chastain

For Those Who Dare

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As impressive as its albums of the late 1980s and early '90s were, Chastain never escaped from obscurity. The heavy metal outfit's inability to break through commercially may stem from the type of polarization that had come about in the headbanger world, which essentially was divided into two camps: thrash metal, and commercial hard rock and "pop-metal" a la Poison, Warrant and Extreme. Chastain, which had a passionate female singer in Leather Leone and an impressive leader/guitarist in David T. Chastain, fell into neither category. Comparable to Judas Priest, Ronnie James Dio and King Diamond, For Those Who Dare boasts gothic-themed fantasy metal that is much slower than thrash but much heavier than Ratt. "Secrets of the Damned," "The Mountain Whispers" and "Not Much Breathing" are melodic, but they're also blistering and unapologetically intense. Fans of gothic metal should definitely make a point of searching for this excellent but overlooked CD.