100% HEAVY / 100% Free / 0% Spam

SEBASTIAN BACH ‘Child Within The Man’

Share This:

Reigning Phoenix Music
Release: 10 May 2024

If I had to describe Sebastian Bach in four words or less, I couldn’t think of a better description than Child Within The Man. And that just happens to be what Sab has called his new album. Now, I don’t know a lot about Sab, apart from the fact he used to sing for a little band called Skid Row. He also seems to pop up all over the place on TV shows and films, and funnily enough, every time I see him, he’s just acting like a big kid. He seems like a fun bloke to be around, but let’s see if his new album is fun to be around.

A little touch of feedback fades into the intro of Everybody Bleeds and some tasty little guitar licks start riffing along until all of a sudden a thumping riff takes over to launch into the song. If you’ve heard Sab before, you know that distinctive voice, and it takes no time at all for him to start showing it off. That riff though, ooft! And on that note, I’m chucking the studio headphones on to get it right in my ear holes in closed stereo! It’s a deep and dark mix and the production is pretty on point, as is the guitar solo which screams through mid-song. I may have liked a bit of a brighter mix, with a bit less compression, but that’s just me being a fussy cunt. Fucking banger of an opener!

Another kick-ass guitar riff gets the rock rhythms underway for Freedom. It’s a bit of a softer song, but it ain’t soft rock. It’s a groover, and he really sinks his teeth into the lyrics, especially the crunchy harmonies in the chorus. I’ve gotta check out who this guitarist is because he is absolutely ripping another killer solo out! It’s a bloke called Brent Woods apparently, who happens to pop up in another band from the 90s LA scene called Wildside who I may now need to check out, but probably won’t.

Fuck, I sure do hope this next one is not a ballad, coz it’s fucking starting off that way with clean guitars and pretty as fuck vocal harmonies. After it fucks around for a bit with that, ya get a bit of a build-up, and then yeah, there we go. It ain’t no death metal song now, but it’s definitely heavier and a lot tastier. It’s another groover full of more rocking guitar riffs. I’d like to give the bass player and drummer some props too, but they are just sitting there in the pocket, as all good drummers and bass players do. Actually, there are a couple of pretty impressive drum fills just before another kick-ass solo takes off in full flight. Sab is pretty passionate in this one as he tells us to (Hold On) To The Dream.

The riffs just keep delivering as What Do I Got To Lose kicks in and rocks away! Vocally, you can tell that Sab is having one hell of a good time. His delivery is flawless, and unlike some other superstar vocalists from around his heyday, he doesn’t seem to have suffered any loss of pitch or strength like those other two blokes. But I probably need to see him live to see where he is actually at. I believe this may be the lead single from the album, and it definitely sounds that way. Well, from a “radio friendly” perspective, that is.

Hard Darkness is not that hard, and it’s also not very dark, and I’m not at all sure about the Terminator 2 intro, which sounds like it belongs on a Fear Factory record. It’s a decently heavy chugger, though, with a straight-up 4 to the floor beat. Oh, and it even has the odd syncopated bit of double kick here and there. Maybe it is a Fear Factory b-side, nah, not even close. It’s hard rock, and may even be a little dark, so I may have to retract my earlier statement, but I won’t. Not after that weird little guitar solo, anyway. There was no need for that.

I’ve been enjoying this album so far, but for some reason I am starting to lose a little bit of interest. I think it’s because there is a pretty stable formula here that really works well. Problem is, like every AC/DC album since at least the 90s it’s all starting to sound the same and you kind of know what to expect next.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as Future of Youth keeps the album rocking. Maybe it’s that I’m starting to develop a bit of Millennialism and my attention span is failing to last any longer than a 15-second TikTok…

As I was typing that dribble above another weird ass little synth intro made way for a heavy us fuck chugging guitar riff, and I’m thinking I’m about to be made a fool of. And I kind of am, because this song does have a bit of a strange feel to it once it creeps into the verses. The choruses do pull it back a little closer to the rest of the album before that thumping guitar riff takes over again. The track is Vendetta, and it definitely has a bit more of a modern edge to it.

This next one F.U. seems like it could be fun, and the classic stick click and spoken count in give me even further hope for it. It’s a fast-paced rocker that sounds like something out of the 90s LA hair metal scene. To be honest, though, I’m just waiting for that acronym to be shouted in full. Oh, there it is, just before the guitar solo, which is again a bit of a ripper. This is a good song, I like it!

Three to go, and the next one is called Crucify Me. Oh, and I like that intro vibe, it sure as hell got my attention, as did the huge slow riff which kicked in after it. This one is not so fast, but it’s big and thick.

Wait, what’s that synth shit in there, that wasn’t needed, but I’ll let it slide. It’s another quite modern sounding track with a similar vibe to one I noted on the next Ace Frehley record, where it sounds like something Axl Rose was planning to do between Use Your Illusion 2’s finale My World and Chinese Democracy. This is a bit heavier than any of that, though.

One, Two, Three, Four! What the fuck does that riff remind me of? It’s certainly got fuck all to do with the verse that follows. Did this start as two completely different songs that just got jammed into one? Actually, make that three. I can see where they are going with this, but it just doesn’t gel as well as I would like it to. It ain’t fucking up to me though, is it!

Ah fuck, it’s the final track, and it’s a fucking ballad. Yeah, I’m guilty too, we’ve all done it. In fact, I’ve done it three times and do not apologise for it, even though I probably should. Anyway, To Live Again is OK for an end of album ballad. And just ok is ok for an end of album ballad, I suppose.

Well, this album surprised me a little, and it actually gave me hope for some kind of heavy rock resurgence with the way it modernises itself in parts. I’ll have to listen to it again though to take it all in, as my live approach to reviewing albums did not give me the time I feel it deserves to actually listen to it.

I like it, you might not, but who really cares as long as the Child Within The Man likes it!

Discover more like this on HEAVY:

Our Picks.

Get the HEAVY

Get the HEAVY Digi-Mag in-boxed weekly. 100% HEAVY / 0%SPAM.