I thought Sebastian Bach had dropped off the face of the earth, at least musically, since we haven't heard from him since 2007's Angel Down. (He has been active in touring and television) Yet he has shown up in the news as of late. Recently hurricane Irene trashed his property in New Jersey, and some KISS and Skid Row artifacts were lost. Prior to this Bach made come comments about the causes of his recent divorce, blaming the Internet tales of his (alleged) promiscuity. So here we are with this new album Kicking and Screaming and, honestly, not much has changed since Angel Down.
Frankly, I was ready to dismiss this album as Angel Down 2.0, another attempt to be heavy and modern. Well, it is the former, and maybe not so much the latter. Bach blurs the line between hard rock and heavy metal once more on this platter. Actually, two elements define Kicking and Screaming: heaviness combined with melodic vocal arrangements. Oh yeah, and some smashing guitar work. There are some songs, like the title cut and bits of One Good Reason, where Bach delivers metal screaming. With the former, I was ready to quit: was he trying to kick my ass and scream in my ear just to get me to listen?
My Own Worst Enemy and Tunnelvision improved the scenario. The first was faster and heavier with some subtle breakdowns with the melodic vocal arrangements. The second had a strong groove, hail the rhythm section, and a fine fiery solo from John 5 (Marilyn Manson). After this Dance on Your Grave and Caught in a dream cemented that earlier characterization: heaviness with melodic vocal arrangements. And not much more. Hey, don't get me wrong here: the heaviness is cool, but for a reason, nearly ephemeral (or not), it wears on you after awhile.
Thankfully, Bach offers some lightness, so to speak, in I'm Alive, Dream Forever, and the concluding Wishin'. Here you'll find vintage melodic hard rock and/or metal with Bach's signature melodic vocals. Excepting Wishin', the heaviness remains, in a more subdued fashion. But, ultimately, they offer a welcome respite from what can only be described as rudimentary melodic heavy rock.
Remembering my review of Angel Down, I still wonder how much has either been changed or repeated on Kicking and Screaming. I'm not sure. Sebastian Bach, with little doubt, still has has lungs to do hard rock and heavy metal. As for his direction: it seems repetitive. But because I'm a fan, I'll dig it.
Remembering 2007's Angel Down, I wonder how much has either been changed or repeated on Kicking and Screaming. I'm not sure. Sebastian Bach, with little doubt, still has has lungs to do hard rock and heavy metal. As for his direction: it seems repetitive. But because I'm a fan, I'll dig it.
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