For The Love Of Metal
The Urban Dictionary describes a 'nut-swinger' as 'someone who hangs from someone's nuts; someone who follows ever move they make'. As generalized and unspecific as such a description may be, it does accurately summarize the intensity of my feelings for Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey-born Heavy Metal veterans Twisted Sister and, perhaps more specifically, their venerable frontman Daniel 'Dee' Snider. Joined by guitarists Jay Jay French and Eddie Ojeda, bassist Mark 'The Animal' Mendoza and drummer A.J. Pero, the group would spawn a series of multi-Platinum releases (notably the “We're Not Gonna Take It”-fueled Stay Hungry, Come Out And Play and the woefully-underrated Pop Metal gem Love Is For Suckers) before embarking upon the triumphant 'Forty And Fuck It' farewell tour in 2016. Now, with Snider poised to release his latest--and quite possibly greatest--solo offerings For The Love Of Metal, upon a truly bloodthirsty populace, the future again appears impossibly bright.
On the stellar For The Love Of Metal, each track, beginning with the relentlessly pummeling “Tomorrow's No Concern” (the official lyric video can be viewed here) and the politically-charged if not entirely Patriotic call for unification “American Made”, immediately commands the rapt and undivided attention of all parties involved, myself most definitely included. Flexing his more-than-considerable creative muscles early and often, Snider attempts--or so it would seem--to improve upon the Damon Ranger-helmed disaster We Are The Ones (2016) by 'delivering' the proverbial 'goods'. Deftly offering a multi-faceted barrage of searing vocals, blistering fretwork and imaginatively punishing rhythms, he panders to his constituents via a uniquely palpable element of originality that resonates within the psyche of the listener. The ensuing blood-thirsty onslaughts, while neither groundbreaking or revolutionary, are rife with an authentic sense of urgent intensity that is ultimately endearing.
Continuing with the fist-pumping, mosh-inducing tirade “Running Mazes” and the maddeningly infectious first single “Become The Storm”, the combination of vocalists Dee Snider (ex-Twisted Sister, Desperado, Widowmaker), Howard Jones (ex-Killswitch Engage) and Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy), guitarists Charlie Bellmore (Kingdom Of Sorrow, ex-Phantoms, Treebeard) Mark Morton (Axis, Burn The Priest, Lamb Of God), bassist/multi-instrumentalist Joel Grind and drummer Nick Bellmore (Phantoms, Kingdom Of Sorrow, Toxic Holocaust) steamroll ahead with an oft-sickening ease. Wisely invoking memories of the ill-fated Widowmaker (the CMC International-issued Stand By For Pain remains as an overlooked mid-'90's classic), Snider finds himself forgoing the commercilaized, hook-laden melodies of the past (i.e. much of the cartoonish, greasepaint-caked Twisted Sister catalog) in favor of a menacing outright 'roar' not previously explored on an in-depth level.
Produced by Hatebreed vocalist Jamey Jasta (Jasta, Kingdom Of Sorrow, MTV's Headbanger's Ball), other standouts, including the scalding and emotionally-overwrought, Alissa Gluz-White-fueled lamentation “Dead Hearts (Love Thy Enemy)” and the thunderous, quasi-autobiographical closer “For The Love Of Metal”, only further reinforce Snider's already well-deserved reputation as a bona fide creative force not to be ignored. Love him or loathe him, this is quite possibly as good as it gets. My one and only complaint? An overwhelming sense of brevity. With none of the otherwise ingeniously executed excursions lasting in excess of four minutes (a factor perhaps influenced by the enormity of Jasta's Hardcore roots), the proverbial average listener is left with an odd feeling of incompleteness. Despite this, the end results of Snider and his Gold and multi-Platinum co-conspirator's concerted efforts are indeed nothing short of extraordinary and deserve to be regarded accordingly.
But what can you really expect? Even more of the Dee Snider that you presumably know and love. Now officially 'clear' of his Twisted Sister-related 'obligations', the majority--if not all--of the decidedly over-the-top wares contained herein effectively serve as the dawn of a bold new era for the multi-faceted frontman. While it's arguable that certain elements of his sonic personality may not necessarily appeal to everyone (especially those without a genuine and sincere interest in all things Heavy Metal and Heavy Metal-related), one must, at the very least, sincerely admire Snider's seemingly ceaseless dedication to re-honing his already razor-sharp chops. As a result, if you've once again found yourself searching for a refreshingly contemporary albeit sonically relevant reprieve from painfully mindless din and clatter that is so often serves as the proverbial mainstream, then this, my friends, might just be the high-octane panacea for whatever ails you. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.
For The Love Of Metal (2018)
We Are The Ones (2016)
Dee Does Broadway (2012)
Never Let The Bastards Wear You Down (2000)
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