Artist name: Sebastian Bach
Album name: Angel Down
Release date: November 20, 2007
What happened to [tag]Sebastian Bach[/tag] is a bit unfair. He emerged with Skid Row to be one of the last true stars of the heavy music just before the pre-Nirvana hard-rock era. With his look and charisma but above that with his voice he managed to make it big fast. But just as they were at the top grunge and alternative rock were the big thing and overnight, Bach found himself suddenly obsolete. After that they released “Subhuman Race,” (1995) but it unfortunately underperformed. And after that he was fired from the band. Makes you think what other band members Bolan and Snake were thinking.
But he managed to make something with his time and he never hit the skids. He has returned to release the Roy Z produced “Angel Down”. There is something about this release which makes you think that the hard rock and heavy riffs glory days could return. What he does is that he is somehow able to find a balance between the hooks and catchiness and the aggressiveness of “Subhuman Race.” The music sometimes resembles Pantera so it is not hard to figure out how hard it is. He manages to sounds heavy and melodic just as they did in the 80s without sounding retro; the sound is very fresh.
The opening title-track,” Angel Down” is an outstanding choice. It is just an epic, old-school metal which starts a bit melow but then grows up and goes into assault mode. Just gets you fired up and sets the mood. “You Don’t Understand” is something that sounds just as Skid Row did. The 80s melodic feel is there and the track is very good. It brings the feel back to older listeners and makes it familiar to the younger masses which probably have no idea about what true rock is. Then reclusive singer Axl Rose lends his voice for three songs. This however is not his big return; it is just a way to make to great voices sound even greater together. The cover of Aersosmith’s “Back in the Saddle.” has a bit less of a groove but it is more metallic. Then we have “Love is a Bitchslap,” and “Stuck Inside” (co-written by Rose) which sound a bit darker and heavier. “American Metalhead” is another fast-paced rocker. It does not stand out but rather keeps the momentum.
“Negative Light” goes into Pantera territory being very heavy and hard. “Live and Die” is another heavy yet melodic rocker. The lack of a power-balled would just be mean so the excellent “By Your Side,” a melancholy, semi acoustic track goes in. Then a few tracks slow down the tempo a bit but they are not bad. They are just above what keeps you listening. “Angel Down” ends on a high note with the outstanding “Falling into you,” a balled somewhat reminiscent of “Wasted Time,” the closing song from “Slave to the Grind.”
This release is just a masterpiece. It is truly a work of art. The man is a teenager trapped in an older body; eternally youthful and charismatic he is able to bring very good music after 20 years. The band (Metal” Mike Chlasciak-lead guitars, Johnny Chromatic – rhythm guitars, Steve DiGiorgio – bass guitars and Bobby Jarzombek – drums) is very good. They are probably a bit better than Skid Row and somehow blend in a bit better with his voice. A must have for fans of the genre and not just them.
- Angel Down
- You Don’t Understand
- Back In The Saddle (featuring Axl Rose)
- (Love Is) A Btichslap (featuring Axl Rose)
- Stuck Inside (featuring Axl Rose)
- American Metalhead
- Negative Light
- Live & Die
- By Your Side
- Our Love Is A Lie
- Take You Down With Me
- Stabbin’ Daggers
- You Bring Me Down
- Falling Into You