August 18, 2021 Dee Snider – Leave A Scar (Album Review)
Taking a mind-bending trip into the past is sometimes a necessary evil when preparing for a future undertaking: any future advancement must come from hard work plus dedication, but also research into what has worked in the past. There is a science behind music just as there is a science behind dealing with the current pandemic. Of course, in life, there are always choices, and some people march to the beat of a different drum.
So let us ask the important question: What would Dee Snider do? As those old enough to remember the ’80s recall, Snider had a huge impact on lifting the ban on music censorship with his pivotal hearing testimony in 1985. Since then he has continued to be a major player in the music industry with Twisted Sister, while, most recently, he has achieved notoriety with his solo Metal project produced by Hatebreed Frontman Jamey Jasta.
In 2018 he put out the first of these albums, For The Love Of Metal, and now he has returned with his brand new follow-up, Leave A Scar. Napalm Records delivers the Metal on July 30, 2021 allowing Snider to give the middle finger to lockdown and bring his live show straight into your home.
At 12 tracks, Leave A Scar has plenty of hard and fast hits that fans are sure to write home about. And what is great about Snider is that, even at 66-years-old, he is very in tune with what Modern Metal means and how it should be without getting caught up in the past. Thankfully, though it could easily happen elsewhere, the album does not take on too much of a Nu Metal vibe. Instead, Snider offers his listeners a strong, unified voice. And to create the fire and magic necessary to support his vision, he is supported by a well-rounded group of musicians: Charlie Bellmore (guitar, background vocals), Nick Bellmore (drums), Russell Pzütto (bass, background vocals), and Nick Petrino (guitar, background vocals).
Leave A Scar starts strong with “I Gotta Rock (Again),” where Snider simplifies his COVID-related struggles in a witty way, with no shortage of banging riffs to satisfy the ears of any Metal lover. Then he is quick to get serious, delivering the aforementioned powerful message amid the infectious riffs of “Down But Never Out.” Moving smoothly into “Before I Go,” it seems those old Hair Metal vibes have made a subtle return, yet they push hard into a more modern world at the same time.
Whatever the case, more energetic Metal ensues with “Open Season” and “Silent Battles.” Here, the lockdown is presented in a very emotional way, with Snider focusing on the silent personal battles we each faced. This inner war between survival mode and the unknown remains fresh in many minds, so, appropriately, Snider and co. bring in somber, ballad-like qualities with “Crying For Your Life.”
They do not linger, however. Next up is the upbeat, catchy and well-vocalized “In For the Kill,” a track that will serve well in a live environment. Though it is “Time To Choose” that begins the climax of the album, a very special tune which has guest vocals by none other than Cannibal Corpse Frontman George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher. It is perhaps one of the best songs on the LP, if for the sheer awesomeness of Snider harmonizing with and opposing Corpsegrinder’s guttural vocals. Ultimately, however, the melodic anthem “S.H.E.” and the classic Thrash of “The Reckoning” help bring Leave A Scar to a close.
But the end is never the end: it is always a new beginning. Knowing that musical masterminds like Snider—who never disappoints and never seems to age—are using all their intellect, experience, and scientific research to create thoughtful Metal albums is reassuring. Considering that our world has become nothing short of fickle and overwhelming, there’s a peace in consistency.
On Leave A Scar, Snider is open to sharing his timely struggles and providing a glimpse into the inner war inspired by 2020-2021, but tracks like “Stand” remain rooted in the everyday; speaking volumes on the importance of a person’s need to embrace who they are, join their tribe, and stand up for themselves along with whatever life throws at them. It’s this balance that makes the LP so enjoyable, along with Snider’s insistence in reminding us to always rock! So for all the above mentioned features, Cryptic Rock gives Leave A Scar 4.5 out of 5 stars in rating.