Dee Snider – “For The Love Of Metal Live” CD / DVD / Blu-Ray (Napalm Records)
Battle Helm Rating
A monster package befitting the gargantuan persona of Dee Snider, “For The Love Of Metal Live” is 18 tracks (or 22 on the DVD / Blu-Ray) showcasing the very best of this famed vocalist of Twisted Sister and renowned solo artist. Captured from several festival performances worldwide – across the United States to Europe, Australia and beyond(!) – the recordings prove that this abrasive New Yorker isn’t just about a legacy, but a force to be reckoned with in the here and now, both onstage and off given that he still has that chip on his shoulder, judging by all the cussing across the album ha ha! Assembling a hungry, high octane band in guitarists Charlie Bellmore (Kingdom Of Sorrow) and Taz, bassist Russ Pzutto (an understudy for the bassist Mark ‘Animal’ Mendoza) and nuclear drummer Nick Bellmore (Toxic Holocaust) the sound is incredible in nothing short of a beast of a performance. As such, Snider is fired up on all the numbers that are a great mix of Twisted Sister classics (‘You Can’t Stop Rock ‘N’ Roll’), Widowmaker (‘Ready To Fall’), covers like AC/DC’s ‘Highway To Hell’ and solo numbers like the brand new ‘Prove Me Wrong’, written to cement his legacy as one of the greatest heavy metal frontmen of all time. Indeed, as the syrup thick riffs to ‘The Beast’ sound out to the roaring crowd, Snider’s own growls of ‘…if you don’t have what it takes, don’t try to play, you’ll lose your stakes..’ lead up to the dramatic chorus, while the soulful solos add a contrasting touch of finesse that’s hard to ignore. Air punching out to the anthemic ‘American Made’, the dirty Harley sounding guitars make for a huge, catchy groove backed by double bass drumming as Snider’s deep but soulful vocals, backed by chorus chants from the band, echo superbly across the festival masse. Going right back to my school days, ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’, complete with cowbell, is still as catchy as it was back in ’84, and with the entire band and crowd singing along to the chorus, there’s not much more to say except that this is rip roaring ball! Speeding up and getting heavier on ‘I Am The Hurricane’, the mean ass, cyclone riffs are nothing short of colossal as Snider sings ‘…I am a force of nature…’ – and you better believe it in this catchy mix of stirring melody and balls deep power that long stays in your mind. Definitely a contender for live album of the year, “For The Love Of Metal Live” proves that Dee Snider is absolutely unstoppable!