Review: Dee Snider “Leave A Scar” [Napalm Records]

Review: Dee Snider “Leave A Scar” [Napalm Records]

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Since the first Twisted Sister‘s split-up in far 1988, front man Dee Snider remains active and notable: he plays in another bands (Desperado, Widowmaker), participates in Symphonic Heavy Metal project Van Hellsing’s Curse, makes some steps in movie industry and finally he records his solo albums with varying degrees of success. In 2018, joining forces with some musicians like Howard Jones, Mark Morton and Alissa White-Gluz, Dee released his another solo album For The Love Of Metal, which was highly acclaimed by fans. And now, three years later the time has come for the next record named Leave A Scar.

“At the end of 2019, I had felt my recording and live performing was over, but I didn’t announce it to the world, – says Snider about the album, – I mentally had decided I was done. But the state of things in 2020 had other plans for me. Between COVID and the political state around the globe, I found myself yearning (yes, I yearn) to get back in the studio. In the immortal words of Ice Cube, ‘I got somethin’ to say!'”

In its essence Leave A Scar is a continuation of For The Love Of Metal, musically. Which is not a surprise because both albums were produced by Hatebreed‘s front man Jamey Jasta. Bassist Russel Pzutto with guitarists Nick Petrino and Charlie Bellmore played on this record too while drummer Nick Bellmore is also responsible for mixing and mastering.

The opening “I Gotta Rock (Again)”, which sounds as a Dee’s distinctive manifest is fast and buoyant Heavy Metal with intense and heavy sound, reminding some last Accept‘s works. The same things happen in mighty “In For The Kill”, when “Open Season” and “The Reckoning” with great drumming,in their turn are typical American Heavy as it should be: powerful and tough, with some chanting on the background (I bet, this is Jamey Jasta’s handiwork), melodic choruses, groovy bridges and technical solos. Dee’s vocals are matching the music, they are raspy, rigid and aggressive.

“Before I Go” and “Silent Battles” are stepping back into 80s. Yes, they have a modern sound, which was more expected from, let’s say, Killswitch Engage, but the main melody and the riffs refer to 80s for sure if weren’t born there. Both songs have greatly memorable choruses, made for live performances and in “Silent Battles” Dee shows another side of his vocals, not even close to what he has done in this album: his voice is clean here, almost without rasp and totally without aggression.

“Down But Never Out” starts as Metal Rock’N’Roll but further some chanting adds to the song, melodic chorus and bridges allude to Hardcore a little bit. But “All Or Nothing More” goes Thrash, while some melody comes in chorus, becoming some catchy Alternative with pumping bass and interesting solo. “Time To Choose” also needs to be mentioned: aggressive and mighty song where Dee sings together with Cannibal Corpse vocalist George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher.

All in all, Dee Snider has released not just an album but a half-manifest, half-reflection about everything in the world that happens here and now and it became at least interesting and diverse, we need to admire. Surely, it’s far from the music that Twisted Sister did – everything here is way bigger, faster, heavier and tougher. But does it make Dee Snider’s work worse? No! Not a little bit. Like on a previous album he tried to merge classic Heavy Metal and some modern tendency of a heavy music and in many ways he did it well. So if you liked For The Love Of Metal, you will like Leave A Scar as well. It’s just as good anyway.

Leave A Scar was released on July, 30 via Napalm Records.

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