Dee Snider’s follow-up to his last solo album, ‘We Are the Ones’, was completely unexpected as Dee was done with making albums. That was until he was challenged to do a contemporary Metal record by Jamey Jasta, leader singer of the metal band Hatebreed.
And there were some serious metal musicians on board with this album, just look at the contributors…
- Jamey Jasta – Hatebreed
- Howard Jones – Killswitch Engage
- Mark Morton – Lamb of God
- Alissa White-Gluz – Arch Enemy
- Joel Grind – Toxic Holocaust
- Nick Bellmore – Toxic Holocaust
- Charlie Bellmore – Kingdom of Sorrow
I like some metal music, but I am not really familiar with any of these bands, so I was a little apprehensive at first. These are all modern metal artists and I am stuck in the past. Plus, Dee only contributed vocals. He did not write any of the songs. That alone made me nervous, but it is Dee Snider so I gave it a shot.
The first single off the album was “Become the Storm”. It is a heavy song, but it was a little lame in my opinion. It was too contrived and sounded like they were trying too hard to sound and be metal. Thankfully, this might be the worst song on the album. The rest of the album is pretty fucking great.
At 63, Dee Snider is still killing it on vocals and might sound better than he has in years. There are four songs on here that I think are some of the best he has done in years.
“Tomorrow is No Concern” with that wicked bass line is the way I like my metal. Fast, heavy but still singable. The song is about forgetting the past and focus on the today and what is to come. No looking back.
“American Made” is another standout for me. This is straight up heavy ass rock and a perfect anthem that would be great live with some great guitar work.
“Running Mazes” might be the best song on the album. It works on every level. This should have been the opening single as it would have given me zero hesitation into getting this album. It is a modern metal song that if you turned the volume up to 10, it wouldn’t be loud enough. This one needs to be played as loud as it can go.
“For the Love of Metal” finishes of the album with such a bang that hitting repeat is a no-brainer. The full assault on your senses is so ramped up that you don’t want it to stop. I love the throwback to classic metal albums including Dio and even Twisted Sister. What a way to end the album.
Now me highlighting does mean these are the only good songs because that is far from the truth. These are the songs, I might stop and listen to again before moving on to the next song. Here are little snippets about the other songs.
The opening track “Lies Are a Business” explodes over the speakers showing you that this is truly a Metal album. They weren’t joking around. It is the most metal I have ever heard Dee and is a great sign of things to come.
“I Am the Hurricane” is a little slower speed than the rest at times, but it is not a ballad. It is still heavy as hell and lets you take a breath before the rest of the album delivers the boom.
The double bass drums on “Roll Over You” will make your whole body shake. Hell it made my whole car shake.
“I’m Ready” is a very personal song for Dee. During the recording of the album, his mom passed away and Jamey wrote this song about the events in Dee’s life. The opening line sums it up “Faced with mortality, questioning my sanity”.
“Mask” sounds like a Disturbed especially vocally. I couldn’t tell if it was Dee or David Draiman from Disturbed singing. And that is actually a good thing as I enjoy Disturbed.
“The Hardest Way” follows my least favorite “Before the Storm” and is great, but not sure it is actually Dee singing the chorus. I don’t think it is but can’t find anywhere that tells who it might be. It could be him with a lot of effects. I could with or without this one as well.
The only ballad type song is “Dead Hearts (Love the enemy)” which is a duet with Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy. When she isn’t screaming it up with her band (very well I might add), she has a really nice, pleasant voice singing in this style. The song is about bullying, but not physical bullying…bullying with words as they can hurt more than any physical pain. The two sound really good together.
I would delete a couple songs so it would get an 83% on the Track Score (10 keepers out of 12 tracks). And the overall score for the quality of the songs and the overall album is a 4.5 out 5 stars. The album was a real surprise on how much I liked it. It is one of my favorites of the year so far. It delivers on a Modern Metal sound as you hear all the metal bands that contributed to the album and then some. I understand that Dee and Jamey have a two record deal so I can’t wait to hear the next one.
Let me know if you have heard it and if you liked it or not. I enjoy hearing everyone’s different view points as that is what makes this fun to do. I hope you enjoyed and have a great day.