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Blues Metal fun - 94%

grimdoom, June 15th, 2008

Singer, fencer, author, pilot, DJ, father, etc... Bruce is truly a renaissance man in our modern times. Without needlessly going into a past every Metalhead knows about (or should know about by now) it will be said that this album is much better than it’s been credited for here. Unlike his first solo effort, 'BTP' is heavier and more adventurous. Granted there is a Hard Rock feel to the music in some places, it’s still heavier than a lot of things to come out at that time. Heaven forbid Bruce embrace several different styles and incorporate them into his own.

The production is about the same, maybe a little better than what we heard on 'Fear of the Dark'. The guitars are very bluesy and laidback. There is a dark and sinister feel on several of the tracks. Mixed with these emotions there is also a feeling of loss and struggle. There are a bunch of solos and leads laced throughout a somewhat tribal background. There is an equal amount of crunch to open chord in all the songs.

The bass has some funk in it and this adds a new level to the down tempo songs. He doesn't follow the guitars very much. The drums are surprisingly standard with few to little surprises. There is even a little keyboard work in the background of some songs.

Bruce's voice is incredible. This is what we should have heard on 'No Prayer for the Dying' and 'Fear of the Dark'. He doesn't rasp his voice and it’s practically all clean. He reminds us why he is such a force to be reckoned with on every track.

The only real complaints here are the political overtones in the lyrics and their utter lack of subtlety. We don't want to hear a British man complaining about American politics, especially when we're used to hearing him sing about fantasy and history. Sound bites of former presidents take away from the escapism that we have come to expect. This album has taken a considerable amount of flack from the usual fan boys. This album in terms of quality isn't that far removed from the first four Danzig records. They're both Blues based Metal, they both have seemingly simple production and musicianship. The difference here is Bruce's Metal is heavier and of a higher caliber. There's also more variation in the vocals, song structure and musical relevance.

While its true, Bruce’s' later offerings would yield a more positive response, his earlier work has merit and shouldn't be over looked. This is something that he could've expanded on but didn't. Whether or not that's a bad thing considering how his later albums have been received is up for debate. Needless to say, this is worth owning as it’s a good piece of Heavy Metal music.