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At least it's not a re-hash of his IM days - 75%

caspianrex, May 19th, 2009

This album is definitely a mixed bag, but at least he's trying here to do his own stuff, and not simply reliving the glory days of his brief time with Iron Maiden. Looking over his discography, Di'Anno has probably wrung enough juice out of the Maiden stuff, and here he tries to make his own voice heard.

Problem is, that voice hasn't really come very far since the old days, and inconsistency is definitely the name of the game on this record. The opening title track is promising enough, although there's way too much cheesy synthesizer on it. If they had dropped the synths and stuck with the basic guitars, drums and bass, it would sound pretty good. "Mad Man in the Attic" is pretty decent, as far as the instruments go, but the vocals are pretty raunchy. Nice rhythm parts, though. In fact, most of the rhythm playing is pretty good on the whole album. Crunchy and energetic guitars, with some pretty solid drums. The lead guitar is not great, but serviceable. The solo in "S.A.T.A.N." is enjoyable enough, but a tad generic in its style. (But this song has about the crappiest lyrics I've ever heard.) And I really like the playing in "Cold World": nice and heavy, with some pretty hard drums.

Overall, throughout the album, the band works hard and plays well, but the vocals are pretty dodgy. Paul tries a real tough growl, which works occasionally, and a loud scream, which also works sometimes, but when things start getting rough, they crank up the reverb, and things go to hell. The cover of Megadeth's "Symphony of Destruction" is particularly crappy. (You would think just about any vocalist worth his salt could beat Mustaine's whiny snarl, but Di'Anno just gets out of control, and extremely out of tune. Badly done, Paul.) Even the live version of "Wrathchild" is badly sung, and that's a tune that Di'Anno used to do better than anyone!

If you are really devoted to Paul Di'Anno, I suppose this is an interesting album to have in your collection. I may keep it around just for the occasional listen. But if you're a Maiden fan who remembers Di'Anno from his glory days, this may disappoint. (Maybe his band can find a new lead singer and reinvent themselves, the way Iron Maiden did...)