Sebastian Bach – Give ‘Em Hell [Review]


Sebastian Bach – Give ‘Em Hell
2014, Frontiers Records
Buy the album

1. “Hell Inside My Head”
2. “Harmony”
3. “All My Friends Are Dead”
4. “Temptation”
5. “Push Away”
6. “Dominator”
7. “Had Enough”
8. “Gun To A Knife Fight”
9. “Rock N’ Roll Is A Vicious Game”
10. “Taking Back Tomorrow”
11. “Disengaged”
12. “Forget You”

Sebastian Bach – Vocals
Devin Bronson – Guitar
Jeff George – Guitar
Steve Stevens -Guitar
John 5 – Guitar
Duff McKagan – Bass
Bob Marlette – Bass, Piano
Bobby Jarzombek – Drums
Franky Perez – Harmonica

Producer: Bob Marlette

The most recent outing from Sebastian Bach sees him recruiting a few other well-known musicians to help out. Steve Stevens, John 5 and Duff McKagan (who handled the majority of bass playing duties, I believe) all lend a hand in the recording and writing process of Give ‘Em Hell.

For the most part, this album continues down the path of modern hard rock & heavy metal that Baz has been walking on for quite some time. While Sebastian has publicly said he’d like to do a reunion with the rest of Skid Row, he isn’t spending his days as a solo act trying to recreate the vibe of his old band. Well, Skid Row was always heavier than the rest of the hair metal acts and heaviness is something Bach has retained as a solo artist but he’s not trying to put out new songs that sound like it’s still 1989.

In his mid-40s, Bach shows no sign of slowing down or softening up whether you’re talking about his approach to singing or the content of the songs themselves. Sebastian is a controversial figure at times due to his opinions but you can’t take away that he’s one of the best singers (if not THE best) of his generation. Bach is still going all out on vocals on this album and that’s a testament to his natural born abilities and training as a singer to still be able to do what he does after so many years.

As for the music itself, Give ‘Em Hell finds Sebastian doing exactly that — giving ’em hell. I don’t think this album is as melodic as his last two albums were but this is the most consistently heavy album Bach has done yet (the heaviest solo song he’s ever done would still probably be Angel Down‘s “American Metalhead”). Bobby Jarzombek is still a monster on the drums and the album is full of crunchy riffs.

There are two occasions when this album lets up: the power ballad “Had Enough” and “Rock N’ Roll is a Vicious Game” (an April Wine cover). After Bach’s last two albums delivered exception ballads, I was really looking forward to what, if any, ballads would appear here. Unfortunately, “Had Enough” falls a bit short in comparison to the likes of “I’m Alive”, “By Your Side” and “Falling Into You” but it is still a fine track. The April Wine cover is a song I’m not familiar with and given the style of the rest of the album, it sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s not bad, just odd-sounding given that the rest of the album comes across as pretty modern rock/metal.

I have a big soft spot for Angel Down (that album still holds my favorite Sebastian Bach songs) but in addition to being consistently heavy, Give ‘Em Hell may be Bach’s most consistent album from a quality standpoint.

Highlights: “Hell Inside My Head”, “Temptation”, “Push Away”, “Dominator”, “Had Enough”, “Taking Back Tomorrow”, “Disengaged”, “Forget You”

Posted on May 27, 2014, in Sebastian Bach and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I too have a soft spot for Angel Down. But I’ve read a lot of good reviews of this album too, might have to check it out!

  2. WHAT ! no ” ALL MY FRIENDS ARE DEAD” ! good song

  3. Too bad the reviewer didn’t mention the shit mastering job. Another album ruined by the loudness war.

    • The Japanese version is pretty damn loud as well but what helps is that I play all of my cd’s through my pc using Foobar2000, and while it took awhile, I found the EQ sweet spot for some albums suffering from loudness, such as the album in question and Danzig’s last album. However, playing Danzig’s latest on my pretty fancy car audio system, it sounds like trash.

      But well.. this isn’t a “loudness war’ because if it was a war, we’d have a chance of winning and all albums would be mastered properly. All we have is a “loudness opinion”, an opinion the industry doesn’t give a damn about

  4. This CD does kick. Sebastian Bach outdoes himself on this one. If only we had radio stations that had balls to play hard rock (not classic rock). I agree with Metal Misfit for most of the review except when he speaks about the April Wine cover. He is right that it sticks out like a sore thumb. I for one am not a big fan of that song on here. The part that I disagree with is, that the author did not even try to hear the original song by April Wine. By the way, it is on the “First Glance” and their version is better than Sebastian’s. I know you are not reviewing April Wine or their First Glance album but it doesn’t take much to hear a song in this day and age. Spotify is an easy option. Metal Misfit, I don’t know you but I hope I did not offend you. I was just being honest. I applaud your review for everything else that you said. Keep that up.

    My review of Give Em Hell is as follows:

    “Hell Inside My Head” – Starts off pretty cliche and then all of a sudden, Sebastian starts to show why he is still around after all these years. It travels melodically down a dark path and then he wails beyond anything that other singers are putting out

    “Harmony” – What can I say, it never stops! You think it is going to be a mellow entry and when he lets out “Harmony”, you just have to play it again to make sure you heard it correctly. Wow, Play it again, and again!

    “All My Friends Are Dead” – I think this single was released to perk the interest in the dark/gothic side of fans. When I first heard it, I really liked it and, I was hooked, and pre-ordered the CD. I am so glad I did (and you will be too).

    “Temptation” – It “gets the best of me” and it does indeed. Bas’ range shows itself throughout this song. It starts to make you feel comfortable and then bites right into you and drops back down to a mellow moment. Then he roars back with “Temptation” (the chorus)

    “Push Away” – This song is deep. Starts slow and then quickly revs up and lets you know the emotions of a relationship in turmoil. What goes through one’s mind emotionally.

    “Dominator” – This is one of my favorites. I love the opening when he belts out “You know you drive me wild, you angelic demon child. A living succubus you want me” It just starts off going and going and does not stop!

    “Had Enough” – This ballad is tender and from the heart. I almost feel silly saying that about Sebastian Bach’s music. It is well done. The lyrics jump out and grab you for this emotional flight.

    “Gun to a Knife Fight” – Great title. Screeching takes you through the start of the gut wrenching musical fight. Descriptive lyrics about a bullet through brain, catch one’s senses off guard and then it smooths out for a moment and revs back up.

    “Rock N Roll is a Viscous Game” – This April Wine cover is definitely not as good as the original but it is a nice change of pace for this CD. It does stand out like a sore thumb but it is not a bad cover. It is well done.

    “Taking Back Tomorrow” – Another favorite of mine. His vocals definitely capture your attention throughout this song. Although the musicians behind Sebastian are fantastic, he just overwhelms the instruments with his power!

    “Disengaged” – Starts off very similar to several other songs on this CD with the drum roar and again, Sebastian comes roaring through the song with blind abandonment. All of a sudden, he takes this song to another level when he belts out, “I don’t wanna stay, don’t wanna stay alone” and you find yourself singing along. Rock on!

    “Forget You” – Sebastian is first out of the gates with this song and then the drums follow him down this dark path. Shivers go down your spine as he accelerates the tempo and then we are finished!

    I would give each song stars but they are all so good. Buy the CD and you will see the Dark Maestro at work. You won’t regret it!

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