'Angel Down' is Sebastian Bach's first solo album in nearly seven years. Do not expect Skid Row revisited. Either you will be pleased or disappointed with Mr. Bach's new work. This album is eclectic in many ways. It is definitely heavier than anything Bach has done with Skid Row. Actually, a great percentage of the music is a mixture of melodic hard rock with a definitely modern heavy metal feel. Honestly, Bach seems schizophrenic, not knowing how to sing or make music, heavy or consistent with his history. This leaves me feeling more ambivalent then appreciative of his current musical direction. Do current trends direct his creativity or is he still the master of his fate? Unfortunately, I feel the former is the case.
On the whole, this is a good work forgiving the aforementioned caveats. The best part of the album begins with the second selection, 'You Don't Understand', through the next three cuts that feature Axl Rose. Maybe this is because Rose is finally releasing 'Chinese Democracy,' the long awaited 'new' Guns N Roses album. Bach and Rose cover Aerosmith's 'Back In The Saddle' with Steven Tyler's blessing. Frankly, Rose has never sounded better despite his manic depressive tendencies. As for the rest of the album, Bach's vocals and the songs seek the current trends of American metal, heavy, hard, and ordinary. The saving grace is that Bach can do it. He has the ability to accomplish this, possibly better than his younger peers. But it still seems like he's pandering to the current trends.
Having said this, there are certain songs where Bach easily merges the past with the present. 'By Your Side,' 'Our Love Is A lie,' 'Stabbin' Daggers,' and 'Falling Into You' are the best examples of this. Generally, I'm enthusiastic about Sebastian Bach's last creation. But it is hardly memorable because of his reliance upon succumbing to current American musical trends. Again the best parts are his work with Axl Rose. I wonder what we can expect from 'Chinese Democracy.' I wonder if it will not be similar to 'Angel Down.' This is recommended to fans of Sebastian Bach and, possibly, the curious.
- Craig Hartranft
Sebastian Bach (Skid Row) delivers a strange mix of past and present on 'Angel Down.' Bach gives way to current trends and produces an album with a heavy modern metal/hard rock feel. The best stuff is the songs with Axl Rose. It's good, but I'm generally ambivalent.