Album Review: Dee Snider - Leave A Scar
Reviewed by Carl Black
This is not an album! Oh no, this is a call to arms. A call to arms to anyone who fights the good fight in the name of metal. When you pledge your allegiance to the underground and decide to relinquish any commercial rubbish and head towards metal. You may not be aware that you have friends guiding you along your every step, friends who are willing to push you into the next available mosh pit. You will not meet many of these Guardian Angels but they are there and one such angel doing his bit is Mr Dee Snider. In fact, he's been doing it for the best part of five decades and doesn't look like he’s slowing down anytime soon.
Sitting in the producers seat is his metal guardian angel apprentice, Jamie Jasta, he of Hatebreed, podcasts and Headbangers Ball. Together they take us through a trip of all things metal and if you are still undecided on which path to take - be it spandex with headband, battle jacket with high tops trainers, baseball cap with sleeve tattoos with t-shirts sleeves ripped down to the waist - this album is a series of signposts to the good and the great.
The first three songs, 'I Gotta Rock (Again)', 'All or Nothing More' and 'Down but Never Out' all follow a similar vein - hard rock riffs over thunderous rhythm sections. It’s a left, right, goodnight opening to an album. Plenty of gang vocals for those hooky choruses and of course the main man himself with that amazing voice that has entertained us for so long binding all of these songs together.
It's far from one dimensional, 'Before I Go' enters a more commercial soundscape with a deeper, slower chorus. 'Open Season' has a touch of sleaze to it, that's never been too far away from Dee Snider's repertoire. We have touching ballads in the form of 'Crying for Your Life' and 'Stand' which has a gothic, haunting feel which transforms into a full on power ballad . A personal highlight is the hardcore/thrash/death track 'Time to Choose'. Jamie Jasta is all over this with death metal growls in the background and a reference to 'Ride the Lightning' thrown in for good measure. It’s safe to say all bases are covered on this album.
This album is testimony to Dee Snider’s honesty and integrity to the music that he loves and these songs are just further proof of this. Thank you gentlemen, please keep up the good fight.