REVIEW: 'For The Love Of Metal" By DEE SNIDER
Heavy Metal/Napalm Records/Released July 27, 2018
Probably taking the cake for one of the most unlikely collaborations in metal, the new album from Twisted Sister's Dee Snider was produced and mostly written by hardcore legend Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed. The result of Jasta pitching the idea for an album to Snider on his "The Jasta Show" podcast, For The Love Of Metal features songwriting contributions from the Bellmore brothers (Toxic Holocaust), Joey Conception (Armageddon, Jasta), and guest vocal spots from Howard Jones (Light The Torch, ex-Killswitch Engage), and Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy).
Despite Jasta's contributions to the album, this is a pure heavy metal record through and through with little hardcore influence to be found. Compared to Snider's earlier work the record is way heavier and has a modern sound to it. Yet stylistically fits perfectly with Dee's vocals. At 63 years old, the heavy metal metal veteran hasn't lost a step in his singing talents. The production has punch with the guitars cutting through full and clear. and the vocals front and center.
The album starts off with some barn burners in "Lies Are A Business" and lead single "Tomorrow's No Concern". The former is a speed metal track that flies by in under three minutes. And the latter is a thrashy headbanger with a hell of a hook holding it all together. The mid album tracks keep the energy high and introduce some more rhythmic tracks. "I Am The Hurricane", "American Made" and "Roll Over You" are mid tempo stompers with arena ready hooks that will appeal to Snider's classic fans. But the modern metal crowd should also enjoy these tracks with the heavy guitar work and modern production.
"Running Mazes" leans towards modern metal with its thrashy riffs. And "Mask" probably has the most memorable chorus of the whole album and I can't help but sing along to it. "Become The Storm" is probably the most 80's sounding track of the album with its upbeat vibe, twin guitar leads and classic shred solo.
The guest singer features are saved for near the end of the album. Howard Jones sings the chorus on "The Hardest Way" which has a dash of "-core" chugging in it. Jones also performs some screams in the bridge giving more of a modern edge to the track. Originally meant to be a Jasta solo track, Dee brings his unique swagger to make the song his own. Alissa White-Gluz steals the show on the album's lone ballad "Dead Hearts (Love Thy Enemy)". She opens the song's acoustic intro with some great melodic singing before Dee comes in with his grit as the heavy guitars come in. And on the chorus the two singer's perform a beautiful duet with each voice complementing the other perfectly.
Dee Snider and Jamey Jasta have struck gold on For The Love Of Metal. A true work of passion from all involved, the album is a prime example of talented people putting their all into a focused project. Twelve tracks with zero filler, and so much quality that it's hard to even pick favorite songs. Traditional metal guitar work and arena hooks for the classic crowd, and heavy distortion with pristine production for the younger crowd. It's a perfect merging of eras that can appeal to all under the metal banner. For The Love Of Metal couldn't have a better title.