Solo albums at one time were laughed upon or meant to be acts of revenge by band members who felt they got booted from a band unfairly. However times change and solo albums have become a normal thing as the ability to record music has become easier and more affordable. Plus there are bands who are retiring while members still have the passion and drive to keep going. While Twisted Sister has officially called it a career, we all know that Dee Snider wasn’t going to sit back and welcome retirement. His new solo album For The Love Of Metal is proof positive that he’s got years of rockin’ ahead.
Before getting into things let’s get one thing straight. While this isn’t Dee’s first solo album it is his first since the official end of Twisted Sister so if you’re expecting an album that revives you need to think again. This album is Dee Snider, though he didn’t write a thing for it. I know that sounds weird but it’s true. Had he not revealed in a recent interview with Gruemonkey.com that Jamey Jasta (who produced the album) did the writing, you’d never have a clue. The lyrics sound exactly like they came from the mind of Snider.
The first single “Tomorrow’s No Concern” was stuck in my head for days after receiving it and listening to it just like “You Can’t Stop Rock n Roll” got stuck in my ears as a child in the 80s. It’s anthemic sound and message about living for the now sticks with you and, let’s face it, is a message everyone should listen to. Rarely do I agree on a lead single but this time around this was the right choice even though there are other equally strong songs.
Another strong song is “Roll Over You”. Sure you can say I’m using it literally as I have rolled over a few people with my wheelchair (unintentionally for the most part) but figuratively as well. There’s countless people that come into our lives that strive to slow us down. Realizing who they are and “rolling” over them is the key to having a rockin’ life. At least it is in my books and I’ve done just as the song says and said “…you try to slow me down but I roll over you” to people who’ve tried to stop me.
The fact the Jasta wrote lyrics like these for Dee Snider isn’t completely shocking because Jasta is a great writer. What is shocking is how well it works. One or two songs on an album you say “ok, they clicked”. But that each song on the album had them click is what is shocking. Usually there’s something that sounds forced or off on the album yet there isn’t anything off on For The Love Of Metal.
I can’t leave out the musical side of this album, after all it’s not spoken word. And while my ears aren’t educated enough to distinguish who did what solos on what songs but the guitar work on this album is absolutely air guitar worthy. The work that Mark Morton of Lamb Of God, Joel Grind of Toxic Holocaust, and Charlie Bellmore of Kingdom Sorrow lay down are sweet. Not overly done and no solos laid in for the sake of having a solo.
Also have to commend how Howard Jones of Light The Torch and ex-Killswitch Engage fits into “The Hardest Way” and Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy fits into “Dead Hearts (Love Thy Enemy)” without taking over or ruining the track. Often I’ve heard guest vocalists destroy or steal songs. I love Rob Halford but his guest spot on Five Finger Death Punch’s “Lift Me Up” has him stealing the spotlight. Not the case with Jones and Gluz. Both work with Dee’s vocals seamlessly.
The title track closes the album and fittingly plays with classic metal song titles within the lyrics. I found myself chuckling while listening to this one because we’ve all tossed song titles or lyrics into our conversations. It’s just something you end up doing when you love rock and metal. The perfect way to end an album when you think about it and makes For The Love Of Metal from Dee Snider a great addition to any rock and metal fans collection.