"Angel Down" (MRV; 2007)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

Itís only a matter of weeks until the end of 2007 and many people are already compiling their list of the top albums of this year. Yet there are still a few releases coming out here and there and this might be one of the most anticipated hard rock albums of the year. 

Sebastian Bach, the former Skid Row vocalist, recorded most of this album way back in the summer of 2006. Itís Bach's first solo album in eight years and joining him on several tracks is Axl Rose, a man who is no stranger to delays himself.

My first reaction to this album is that there is less of an ongoing theme than I imagined. Largely everything is hard rock to metal, but a number of the songs vary in style. Perhaps that has to do with a not having done an album in awhile that so many different ideas have built up in Mr. Bachís head over the years. Perhaps this album has indeed benefited from him taking his time on getting this album out. 

The vocals are as strong as ever and there are several moments where I am reminded of Skid Rowís classic ďSlave to the GrindĒ album. At times it almost seems like 1991 wasnít all that long ago, if at least for Mr. Bachís vocals. The music is well produced and primarily itís fairly sharp and cutting. 

The majority of the tunes here lean toward a style that was more prominent between, say, 1990 - 1995, but thatís okay by me. Still, the songs move along so well that they sound fresh and manage to work well. No new ground is being broken here, but I donít think anyone expected that. 

Sebastian Bach was one of the stronger hard rock singers to emerge during ďhair metalísĒ big prime in the late 80s-early 90s. He had his own patented screeching style and a strong stage presence -- plus he never really released a bad album. Judging from this new release, he doesnít seem to have lost a step either. 

Oh, and Axl Rose sounds just like you would expect him to. 

"Angel Down" may not be a barnstormer, but it's a good release that will make fans wish Sebastian Bach would release albums a bit more frequently.

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"Forever Wild" DVD (Eagle Vision; 2004)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Consisting of a live concert performance and scenes from Bach's VH-1 show, "Forever Wild," "Forever Wild" the DVD has lots of Sebastian Bach to offer. Sebastian Bach fans will certainly get their money's worth with Bach's face and voice appearing in nearly every single frame. Others, however, may find themselves often rolling their eyes at Bach's corny sense of humor and dumb rock star antics. 

First, there's the concert footage. Bach's The Last Hard Men (who earned a brutal review from Snidermann here) deliver an adequate performance that's heavier on stage presence than rock'n'roll magic. Bach himself has certainly lost nothing from his days as the lead singer of Skid Row, delivering his performance with energetic wild abandon. At one point, the frenetic Bach leaps across the stage ... and it collapses beneath him. Although angry and injured, he completes the song ("Youth Gone Wild") like a true professional. The band performing with Bach doesn't seem to have quite the enthusiasm and it doesn't help that the entire concert sequence suffers from third rate production and really lousy editing. 

The scenes from VH-1 "Forever Wild" run from entertaining (Ted Nugent teaching Bach to shoot) to banal (Bach on a golf cart trying to find something to entertain himself). The previously unseen bonus footage - including a hilarious yet useful tip from Nugent, a visit to Filthmart (a rock clothing store owned by Drea Matteo of "The Sopranos") and a sequence with Bach standing in a pit of hungry alligators - is actually more fun to watch than the footage that aired.

Finally, a demo of Bach's upcoming "Always & Never the Same" plays over the end credits and it sounds pretty good.

Also featured are an interactive discography and an Easter Egg: "Before They Were Bach Stars," that I admittedly didn't bother searching out.

There are worse ways to spend two hours in front of the television set but there are also much better ways as well. Still, as mentioned above, Sebastian Bach fans will find plenty here to keep them entertained.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2007 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Jun 2018 20:14:10 -0400.