Review: Dee Snider – Leave A Scar
Napalm Records (July 30th 2021)
Reviewer: Jason Hopper
It’s Time To Rock Again! Dee Snider returns with a new collection of Metal tracks that are sure to please long time fans of his work. For those not paying attention, Dee has released two solo CDs since the retirement of Twisted Sister back in 2016. His first, ‘We Are The Ones’, was very experimental and while I found it to be enjoyable, many fans were thrown for a loop. Dee must have picked up on that and came back strong with his next release ‘For The Love Of Metal’. Not just a return to form but a statement that just because you get older does not mean you need to slow down.
Many of those tunes were written by brothers Charlie Bellmore (Guitar) and Nic Bellmore (Drums). They return for this album, so if you loved what you heard on their first go around with Dee, wait until you see what they have in store here. As much as I loved the last album, this one is even better!
The album vibe ranges from Melodic Metal to tunes that are borderline Thrash. First single and opening track ‘I Gotta Rock (Again)’ rides that line pretty well and is very representative of the songs in this collection. Dee’s ability to transition from more melodic melodies to full on power belters is truly amazing, especially considering he has been at it for nearly 50 years. My favorite part of the album is the triple threat of ‘Before I Go’, ‘Open Season’, and ‘Silent Battles’. The riffs created by Mr. Bellmore, the screaming background vocals, and the variation in grooves (especially in ‘Open Season’) make these songs not just the best tracks on this album, but some of the best stuff Dee has sung in his career.
Other songs scattered throughout the album are nearly as good. ‘All or Nothing More’, with an awesome bridge/chorus combination and great bass work from Russell Pzütto. Mr. Pzütto really shines on ‘Crying For Your Life’. What starts off like a ballad kicks in to a moody, heavy groove and changes up the pace of the album at just the right time.
While I loved nearly every track, there are some clunkers on here. I’ve never heard one song from Cannibal Corpse, and after listening to singer George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher provide guest vocals on ‘Time To Choose’, I never need to hear from him again. Final track ’Stand’ has a moody, almost etherial feel to it that sounds like a song that belonged on his ‘We Are The Ones’ album. Not a bad track, but just out of place here. Perhaps it would have fit better in the middle of the album, but this is not the way I was hoping the album would conclude.
No one would fault Dee Snider for gracefully retiring after Twisted Sister concluded a few years ago, but I’m sure glad he didn’t. There are few artists in their mid-60s who can summon the power needed to perform metal songs as well as they did years prior, but he makes it look easy. This project he has with the Bellmore brothers had lead to the construction of some of the best work in his career. That’s saying something being that I have been a fan of his work since I was nine years old. The last album wasn’t a fluke, this is truly something special and I hope to hear many more songs from these guys in the near future.