Written by Alex Stojanovic
I Gotta Rock (Again)
All Or Nothing More
Down But Never Out
Before I Go
Crying For Your Life
In For The Kill
Time To Choose
Release Date: July 30, 2021
Label: Napalm Records
Dee Snider - Vocals / Charlie Bellmore - Guitars / Nick Petrino - Guitars / Russell Pzutto - Bass / Nick Bellmore - Drums
Given the fact that Jasta pitched the idea, and wrote the material, the album honestly felt more like a Jasta album, but with Dee singing on it, and I still stand by that. Read my review of For The Love Of Metal to get my entire explanation as to why I feel that way. When I hear Jasta talking about metal, he can be ultra-annoying to listen to at times, especially when he brings out that cringe-worthy teenage metalhead persona that your adult-self just wants to strangle.
Here we are now in 2021, and a follow-up album titled Leave A Scar has been made. The difference this time around is that Dee was actually part of the writing process, which is great, and it puts some more honesty into the songs, despite with some songs having really cringe-worthy titles and lyrics; (cough) "I Gotta Rock (Again)" (cough). Regardless, if you enjoyed the first album, there's nothing that much different on this new one, except for another collection of solid traditional metal songs with great hooks, great melodies and great hooks. Of course, some songs are better than others.
Starting off with the good, the production in particular stands out. Everything is distinguishable, and Dee's vocals are as strong as ever, and it shows on songs like "All Or Nothing More", "Down But Never Out", "Silent Battles" and "Before I Go". On top of that, the riffing is straightforward, and they may be the riffs we've heard a million times already, but it doesn't matter whether a riff is rehashed. It's all about whether it gets you moving in some sort of way, and these riffs, combined with the great production, certainly do the job really well. Who doesn't love a good riff that gets your head banging?
As I mentioned, "Silent Battles" is one of the standout tracks. It's certainly the most 80s sounding track here. The riffing and the chords are very much in that L.A. glam metal style. You can certainly hear bands like Dokken or Ratt playing this song. The lyrics will without a doubt speak to those who are fighting their own silent battles. George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher from Cannibal Corpse makes a guest appearance on this album on the track "Time To Choose". Hmmm, I wonder who possibly could've thought of that idea. If that doesn't sound like a Jasta move, I don't know what does. The track as a whole is honestly one of the album's weak spots. It lacks that memorable hook that makes it a winner, and there's something off about the overall flow. Plus, I wish Corpsegrinder at least had a verse all to his own where he could shine with his inimitable growl.
To summarize, Leave A Scar is no different than For The Love Of Metal. It's another collection of straightforward traditional metal songs from one of metal's most iconic voices who still sounds as great as he ever did. The fact that Dee was at least involved in the writing process this time around makes me have much more appreciation for this album. Before writing for this album began, Dee was convinced that he was done recording and performing for good. However, inspiration came running back, and he has another great album to add to his arsenal.
Highs: "All Or Nothing More", "Down But Never Out", "Before I Go", "Silent Battles".
Lows: "Time To Choose"
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