Written by Alex Stojanovic
Lies Are A Business
Tomorrow's No Concern
I Am The Hurricane
Roll Over You
Become The Storm
The Hardest Way
Dead Hearts (Love Thy Enemy)
For The Love Of Metal
Release Date: July 27, 2018
Label: Napalm Records
No time is wasted at the start with the gut-punching opener "Lies Are A Business" as it sends massive speed metal riffs flying our way, kicking this off to a fiery start. Some people have said that the track is reminscent of early 90s Judas Priest, but I can also hear a bit of a Motorhead influence. It probably has to do with the drum intro for the most part, as it's reminiscent of "Overkill". The chorus is where the biggest Priest influence can be heard. Of course, Jasta's influence on the vocals isn't hard to locate, namely on "Tomorrow's No Concern". There are moments during this song and a few other areas on the record where you could easily picture Jasta singing because it's in his style. The Judas Priest musical influence continue to be strong on this album, especially on tracks like "American Made", "I'm Ready", "Running Mazes" and "Mask". The chorus in "Mask" is one of my favourite choruses. "I'm Ready" threw me for a bit of a loop because it's a song where the lyrics talk about the death of Dee's mother, so I was expecting it to be a ballad, but instead, we get treated to a heavy assault of double-kick and raging riffs in the style of Judas Priest and Accept, and some awesome gruff vocals.
There isn't any experimentation to be found. None of the songs go into crazy experimental directions. They're all under 4 minutes, straight-to-the-point and very enjoyable with heavy riffs and great melodies flying in from every direction. There are also a couple of tracks that are duets, which are "The Hardest Way", featuring Howard Jones, and "Dead Hearts (Love Thy Enemy)", featuring Alissa White-Gluz. While we're talking about the latter song, Dee and Alissa's voices blend together really well. As the song starts, you think it's going to be a ballad when you hear the acoustic guitars, but it transitions to heavy when Dee begins to sing after Alissa. Often, lyrics with references to bands and their song titles come across as really corny and cheesy. The closing title track, while it's great musically, the lyrics, which reference Judas Priest, Dio, Iron Maiden, Twisted Sister and Motorhead, exude nothing but an abundance of cheese.
Now here's the problem I have with this album. How is it a Dee Snider album when he didn't write a single note or lyric for it? I know I'm not the only one asking this question. If you're going to do a solo record, and you're not going to write a single thing, then what's the point? I've always been against the idea of outside writers and other people writing songs for singers and bands. The only time outside writers are okay is if the artists themselves are involved in the writing, and there isn't many outside writers involved. Even better is if those outside writers contributing to the writing are musicians themselves and have their own bands or solo careers, and they end up having guest spots on the album, but the artist, whose name appears on the album, MUST be involved in the writing, otherwise they can't call it "their album". Jasta and the musicians involved wrote the songs, including the lyrics and the vocal melodies, while Dee didn't write anything, which is just wrong. If that's the case, then it's NOT a Dee Snider album. This is more like Dee singing on a Jasta record, except that Jasta isn't singing.
Dee has mentioned that he hasn't written any new music since the last Widowmaker record after reviews said that the record sounded like "your dad trying to make new metal music." This was in the 90s when metal was in a dark period and grunge was dominating the rock scene. Dee, that was over two decades ago. Metal's stronger than ever now, and your writing style would easily be accepted, and if someone says otherwise, flip them the bird. Think about the title of your 2000 solo album: Never Let The Bastards Wear You Down. Believe in yourself. If you plan on making another metal album in the future, please get involved in the writing! At least write the lyrics if not the music, or have the band members collaborate with you if you get writer's block. Then it will really be a proper Dee Snider album. You're not in the pop world where other people write your songs. Yes, the writers of this album are metal musicians from some great bands, and they all appear on the album, which is much better than the multi-millionaire songwriters ghost-writing songs for artists, but regardless, you should've been involved. By the way Jasta, I'm looking at you too when I say all this. You should've pushed Dee to contribute. You can't say Dee created the record. You and the musicians created the record because you wrote the songs, so in reality, it's your record. Sorry, but that's the actual truth.
Now before all of you take this section of the review as a random bashing, that's not what this is. If you read above, I gave this album a lot of praise for its well-written songs and performances, and Dee is still sounding phenomenal vocally. This part is an honest and constructive criticism. I'm not one of those internet trolls or journalists that hate for the sake of hating, because I have nothing but hatred for them. Plus I'm saying all this with the utmost respect and I'm just stating how I feel. The way I see it is if you have an album, you can't call it your album unless you, the artist whose name(s) appears on the album, wrote the songs or had a major hand in the writing with the band members. Please Jasta, if you and Dee plan on collaborating on another metal album in the future, get him involved in the writing, and Dee, if you say this record was all about inspiration, then hopefully it will inspire you to get back to writing your own songs.
Aside from all that, For The Love Of Metal is a fantastic record with an abundance of heavy and catchy tunes to get heads banging and horns raised. Dee's still got plenty of gas in the tank and we look forward to hearing more heaviness from Dee in the future.
Highs: Dee's voice is still in great shape. Fantastic production.
Lows: The cheesy lyrics in the title track. The fact that Dee wrote none of the songs is off-putting.
Final Rating: 7/10
| || |