Dee Snider – “For The Love Of Metal” (Napalm Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Dee Snider – up for a challenge!?!? Definitely one of the 80s greatest front men and one of metal’s motormouths, Snider called it quits in 2016 after completing a farewell 40th-anniversary tour with legends Twisted Sister. Or so he thought. Seems that Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta, a long time admirer of Snider, didn’t think it was time for Dee to retire his unmistakable voice and sold Snider a wild idea to record this album with a younger generation of contemporary artists. And we’re not talking the up and coming talent pool still in nursery but instead the likes of Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage, Alissa White-Gluz from Arch Enemy, Toxic Holocaust and Howard Jones! Produced by Jasta, “For The Love Of Metal” is just that, blending the different styles of metal from the above bands along with the more classic sound of Dee Snider to produce this amazing hybrid across the 12 powering tracks on show here. Incredibly, Snider fits in like a glove and whilst I always captivated by his vocal contributions over the years, I never quite realised just how versatile he was and he has truly impressed me on this album! Right from the ripping title track ‘For The Love Of Metal’ with its stomping metalcore beat and punkish guitar melodies, Snider’s voice shouting out ‘..we are all fucking metal!!!…’ not only resonates the strength and passion of his massive personality, but takes the number (and indeed all the songs) to anthemic levels of stadium shaking proportions. With its thick, dirty guitars aptly driving ‘I Am The Hurricane’, Snider’s bitter vocals and forceful echoing tones match this monstrously brooding number drenched in a melancholic darkness reminiscent of Life Of Agony – just angrier, and a whole lot more so. ‘American Made’ continues the crush, the guitars sounding like Harleys while hardcore shout outs contrasting Dee’s soul give rise to burning rubber guitars and wailing solos as the bottom end on the chorus hits balls deep. Then there’s ‘Mask’ which is more identifiably nu metal with its twisting grooves and Dee adding his power and melodic wails like Ozzy while on ‘Become The Storm’ it’s straight back to the 80s on this stadium rocker harking back to ‘Stay Hungry’. Alissa White-Gluz adds her own feminine touch on the dark rock of ‘Dead Hearts (Love Thy Enemy)’ which oozes passion and sultriness across its alt / nu metal tones as Dee’s powerful passion takes the number to climatic levels, backed commendably throughout by White-Gluz showing just how talented these two are beyond their normally associated styles. “For The Love Of Metal” is an all around success for Jasta’s vision reflecting his own faith and brilliance – and Dee, ya still not done ha ha!