Album Reviews

Dee Snider – For The Love of Metal Review

Released by: Napalm Records

Release Date: Out Now!

Genre: Metal

Links:  http://deesnider.com

 

Line Up:

Dee Snider: lead vocals

Alissa White-Gluz: contributing vocals

Howard Jones: contributing vocals

Mark Morton: lead guitar

Joel Grind: bass guitar, backing vocals

Nick Bellmore: drums

Charlie Bellmore: guitars, backing vocals

 

Tracklist:

Lies Are A Business
Tomorrow’s No Concern
I am The Hurricane
American Made
Roll Over You
I’m Ready
Running Mazes
Mask
Become The Storm
The Hardest Way
Dead Hearts (Love Thy Enemy)
For The Love of Metal
 

 

Having grown up in the MTV generation, my first introduction to Dee Snider was when the bombastic rock anthem “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister came blasting out of my TV like a call to arms. From the over-the-top make-up, to the outlandish clothing, and impressive vocals, you could not help but take notice of this amazing band. As a champion for the metal genre, particularly in the 80s and 90s when it was being vilified by the powers-that-be, Dee Snider gave those of us in the metal community someone to rally behind. A voice when no one else wanted to listen. For The Love of Metal, propels that voice into the 21st century, laying the foundation for the up and coming generations in the same way that Twisted Sister did in the 70s and 80s.

The album is truly inspired, and it was inspiration which was the primary driving force of this solo project. However don’t be fooled, while it may be a Dee Snider solo album, it is definitely a group effort, featuring the combined talents of Howard Jones (ex-Killswitch Engage), Mark Morton (Lamb Of God), Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy), Charlie Bellmore (Kingdom Of Sorrow), Joel Grind and Nick Bellmore (Toxic Holocaust). For the Love of Metal was born out of a challenge Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed) made to Snider on a podcast.  Produced by Jasta, he commented that, “I’m so happy and proud to have been a part of this project, Dee Snider is an American original, there is no other voice like his on earth, his power and passion really shine through on this album. Metal brings us all together and with Dee still at the forefront, it’s a great time to be a fan of heavy music.” To make an announcement for the new album, Snider took to YouTube, and confirmed that Jasta had challenged him, “to make a true metal record. To make a really hard album.” He then went on to say that he was, “inspired by his passion, his words, and his belief in me. And I took that inspiration and rose to the challenge.”

Throughout the announcement, Snider made it clear that his album wasn’t made “for money, it wasn’t for anything, other than the love of metal.” This was an album with no record deal, being paid for out-of-pocket, and from the number of artists who flocked to this project to lend their support and their creativity, it should have come as no surprise when a major label like Napalm snapped it up for a world-wide release. Remarking on the release, Snider said, “I am beyond excited to be working with one of the world’s leading labels for heavy music, it’s a perfect home for this album! I believe there’s something for every hard rock and metal fan on this record and I cannot wait to unleash it on the world July 27th!”

In a true return to form, For The Love of Metal is the first album that Snider has released since his 90s project Widowmaker, that encapsulates the contemporary metal sound of the day. A true modern classic, from the moment you hit play, be ready to rock! “Lies Are a Business” will blow your head off with its machinegun drumming, driving bass, and metal riffs which are powered by Snider’s epic vocals. While “Tomorrow’s No Concern” has a real “Master of Puppets” / “Moth Into Flame” vibe about it, in “I Am The Hurricane,” Snider declares that he’s a force of nature, and there is no denying that with this dark metal anthem. “American Made” makes for the perfect concert song. It won’t make any difference where you’re from, as this fist-pumping, foot-stomping, reactionary rock song will get your blood burning, and your head banging to its infectious beat. With tracks like “Running Mazes”, “Roll Over You”, “I’m Ready”, and “Become the Storm”, Snider pays tribute to his classic metal roots, while the contemporary metal sensibilities of these songs take them to a whole new level. I can certainly see “Become The Storm”, being an instant hit radio favourite.

With its pulsating rhythm and layered vocals, “The Hardest Way”, which features Howard Jones, is one of two duets on the album. Jones stated, “To be given the chance to write for and sing with Dee Snider, one of the men responsible for shaping heavy music as it is today, is an absolute honour. The voice, the mind, the swagger…the man is one of a kind.” The other duet, “Dead Hearts (Love Thy Enemy)” is one of the truly stand-out tracks on the album. It is a stunning song, which opens with a classical guitar intro that builds into the melodic and often hypnotic vocals of Alissa White-Gluz, contrasted against Snider’s vocal expertise. Snider refers to the track as “an anti-bullying song, which is the “Close My Eyes Forever” of this millennium.” Perhaps a bold statement, but it does live up to the hype. White-Gluz commented that she was, “honoured and humbled to sing alongside such a truly unique and talented soul. I love that Dee Snider has continued to shock people for decades just by being himself. I can’t wait for everyone to hear our duet! It was no easy task matching up to Dee’s level of vocal prowess but I was happy to accept the challenge and I’m in love with the results!”

The title track, “For The Love of Metal”, captures all the ferocious energy of the metal genre and distils it into a love letter to Snider’s musical influences. When it came to using the track for the name of the album, it was perfectly clear to Jasta and Snider, with Snider adding that it was, “because I’m the O.G. – I’m the original metal-head,” he loved metal before it was metal, “and all the people involved on this record loved metal. So of course we had to call it For The Love of Metal.” A tight and well executed production, this is the metal album you didn’t know you needed, but once you’ve heard it, will not be able to live without! In the words of the immortal Dee Snider, “I hope you love it, and enjoy it, and appreciate the spirit of it, because it’s as genuine as it comes. This wasn’t for money. It was for the love of metal. You gotta check it out.” Take it from me, it is an intensely good album!

 

A true modern classic

Written by: Erik (De’Viking) De’Scathebury

Ratings:  10/10

Editors Pick EditorPick Rex Brown - Smoke On This Review

 

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