"For The Love of Metal"

By Dr. Abner Mality

This is one of the coolest surprises of the year so far. Dee has taken time off his "House of Hair" broadcast and all the other projects he does to smack us upside the head with a pure metal album. Of course, we know Dee from Twisted Sister but I also remember his Widowmaker project which was more stripped down metal. At several points, this almost sounds like it could be a new Widowmaker LP but there are also some important differences that make it unique.

This thing doesn't waste any time! "Lies Are A Business" kicks things off and almost sounds more like Judas Priest than anything Twisted Sister ever did. Fast, crisp and crunchy, with real bite. The production is rock solid and Dee sounds great. He's always been a strong metal singer but sometimes he kinda lost the plot. Not this time around!  "Tomorrow's No Concern" is another pounding and quick paced anthem. I don't know who Dee's backup band is here, but they do a killer job throughout. "American Made" and "Roll Over You" have a very gritty, street level sound. None of the tracks here wastes time or energy...all are direct on target.

Things begin to change up a little bit with "Running Mazes", which has a neat repeating vocal refrain. Then the album takes a turn into more modern sounding metal territory, with almost an early 2000's metalcore feel to tunes like "Mask" and "Become the Storm". To cement this home, Howard Jones of Light The Torch and formerly Killswitch Engage lends his silky tones to "The Hardest Way" and makes an interesting counterpoint to Snider's grittier tone. Alissa of Arch Enemy uses her more melodic voice on the only ballad "Dead Hearts". These slightly more modern tunes in the second half of the album don't hit me quite as hard as the straight up metal of the first half, but none of the songs overstays its welcome and they do show some of Snider's range. The album wraps up with a snarl on the title track.

Nice album from Mr. Snider here, showing he hasn't lost his touch even if the make-up and hairspray are way in the rearview mirror...