Napalm Records [Release date 31.07.20]
To front a rock band takes a few special ingredients. The candidate should be larger than life, outspoken, overblown, like the sound of their own voice, have massive self-confidence and not give a flying f**k for convention or negative opinion. Dee Snider has been a role model for would be rock starlets for the past 40 plus years and has lost none of his fire and belief and with good reason, put simply Dee is one of the best frontmen of all time.
This album and accompanying DVD captures Dee at his venom spitting best, recorded during various festival appearances worldwide in 2019. Featuring a great mix of tracks from Dee’s solo career and many Twisted Sister classics all delivered in Dee’s full on, fast rapping style.
Things kick off with a couple of new tracks from 2018’s ‘For The Love Of Metal’ album, namely ‘Lies Are A Business’ and ‘Tomorrow’s No Concern’ which are hard and heavy with almost thrash like overtones.
We are soon into the Twisted Sister back catalogue though and the hardest decision must have been which tracks to leave off the set list. ‘You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll’ is an anthem that never grows old and the message is still as true today as it was back in 1984. This is followed up by ‘The Beast’ which is probably not an obvious choice of TS classic but is excellent none the less.
The rest of the album is a great mix of the old and new. ‘Under The Blade’, the third song Dee ever wrote so he tells the crowd, is as potent as ever with its dark underlayer of malevolence bubbling to the surface after which we go on the march with ‘The Kids Are Back.
‘I Am The Hurricane’ sums Dee up perfectly before ‘Burn In Hell’ takes us down into the depths with superb guitarwork throughout. Dee has managed to assemble a great band around him and the TS tracks are given a new lease of life here.
‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ and ‘I Wanna Rock’ are both huge singalongs with Dee doing his full ringmaster act, leading the crowd who are mostly happy to scream along on demand and berating those who are too cool to participate, some things never change…
‘For The Love Of Metal’ brings things back up to date and features great twin guitar work and full on riffage. For a bit of fun the guys then throw in a cover of AC/DC’s ‘Highway To Hell’ which is a real crowd pleaser and is preceded by a bit of a dig at Gene Simmonds’ attempt to copyright the ‘devil horn’ hand gesture which is quite amusing.
Another left field Twisted Sister track to feature is ‘The Fire Still Burns’ which has always been one of my favourites and is great to hear here. The live portion of the album is rounded off by ‘Roll Over You’ which is another solo track with a huge riff and great melodies throughout. Things are then brought to a close with an unreleased studio track entitled ‘Prove Me Wrong’ which is another solid chunk of Snider infused metal.
This is a superb album and one which proves that Dee Snider is as commanding and powerful today as he was back in the early eighties when Twisted Sister were taking the world by the scruff of the neck and giving it a shake. Until their final farewell Twisted Sister proved themselves to be the ultimate festival band and this live set proves that Dee has carried on that legacy, the words of ‘You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll’ have never been so relevant. *****
Review by Dave Wilson
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