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Sebastian Bach puts his reality show and television supporting actor roles on hold for a bit, as he makes a definitive return to the rock world with ANGEL DOWN. Thanks to some thrashing heavy metal licks, an all-star lineup band and a cranking production, this 14-track comeback jaunt by the ex-Skid Row frontman (his first in eight years) screams for vengeance, rocks like a hurricane, and is far beyond driven. How far? Try by getting hermit Axl Rose out of musical hibernation to lend his trademark shrill to three cuts, most notably on the ripping rendition of Aerosmith's "Back in the Saddle Again", complete with dual '80s metal throats going for the gold while managing to sound as relaxed as if they were doing it at a karaoke party. But make no mistake, this is Bach's kind of party, which he makes perfectly clear by unloading some big guns here without a shred of reticence on tracks like the gritty "Love is a Bitchslap" and the moody yet crunchy "Stuck Inside". Spanning his career through the vast amount of stylistic changes found here, everything from Scorpions-esque tender balladry demonstrated on "By Your Side" to cuts that surpass the intensity of anything from SLAVE TO THE GRIND times 100 ("Take You Down With Me"), the nasty groove oozing from "Live & Die", and the supercharged Brit metal number "You Don't Understand" assist in making this disc a truly kick-ass disc chock full of nostalgia-evoking sentiment and a sensational array of traditional heavy metal.
- Mike SOS