REVIEW: DEE SNIDER – “For The Love Of Metal”
Dawn 'Mama Love' Brown
Dee Snider is, and will always be, one of the most iconic frontmen in metal history. Initially making a name for himself with his band, Twisted Sister, Dee has gone on to stay relevant dabbling in various artistic mediums from continuing to release music with Twisted Sister and solo projects to Broadway, radio and films. Snider is a man of many talents, to say the least.
Dee’s latest project, ‘For the Love of Metal’, is a 12-track barrel of fun put together primarily by Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed) who facilitated the project and solicited ideas from metal artists throughout the industry. As stated in Metal Wani’s recent interview with Dee (which can be heard here), all songs were written by outside sources specifically for Dee and his signature brand of vocals. With so many commercially successful `80s bands coming back into the fold to release new music, Snider was firmly looking in the rear-view mirror at creating and performing new music. But, with Jasta’s prodding, Snider happily agreed to jump in head-on. Jasta and Snider wanted to take a more metal outlook overall and with Snider’s writing prowess more geared towards the `80s sound, he was happy to turn the reigns over to Jasta who has produced an amalgamation of amazing songs tailored to Snider’s massive presence and vocal range.
By all accounts, ‘For the Love of Metal’ is a masterpiece that not only showcases Dee’s firm hold on the pulse of the metal mainstream but also highlights the tremendous talent that went into making this record. With submissions from such artists as Howard Jones (ex-Killswitch Engage), Mark Morton (Lamb of God), Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy), Joel Grind and Nick Bellmore (Toxic Holocaust) and Charlie Bellmore (Kingdom of Sorrow), the album has an authentic metal sound with an edgy diversity provided by the synergy garnered from the wide array of contributors. Its high energy is only surpassed by the complexity of the compositions and arrangements. Each song has driving drum and bass lines, complex solos and riffs galore and Snider’s vocals lend perfectly to the melodic choruses so prevalent in contemporary metal.
There are several stand-out tracks on ‘For the Love of Metal’, including the first track released as a single, “Tomorrow’s No Concern”, which is one of a handful of songs that contains audible references to Jamey Jasta’s signature project, Hatebreed. It’s definitely got a catchy hook. “I Am the Hurricane” has a great groove riff with a decidedly atmospheric chorus. A great song, indeed.
“Mask” has some exuberantly articulate guitar work with an anthemic multi-voice chorus over a meandering double-drum line that intermingles with an equally non-stringent bass accompaniment. Dead Hearts with Alyssa White-Gluz has a classical guitar opening and was dubbed by Snider as “the closest thing to a ballad on the album”, reminiscent of the iconic “Close My Eyes Forever” by Ozzy and Lita Ford. Alyssa’s is another voice that blends perfectly with Snider’s, as does that of Howard Jones in the track “The Hardest Way”. Jones is another metal vocalist that has a distinctive vocal sound that is unmistakable. The title track of the album, “For the Love of Metal”, has some nostalgic points married with Jamey Jasta’s heavy Hatebreed influence for a fitting closing track.
Dee Snider has truly taken the talents of others and made them his own. He is the quintessential metal frontman and commands respect as such. Jamey Jasta is an adept producer and absolutely succeeds in restoring Snider to his previously known Metal God status.