Album review: Sebastian Bach – Child Within The Man

Storied former Skid Row frontman powers back with pummelling, Bach-to-basics heavy rock album…

Album review: Sebastian Bach – Child Within The Man
Steve Beebee

The term ‘legendary’ is overused when it comes to rock stars. However, when considering the towering, hair-flinging motormouth Sebastian Bach, a man today’s Skid Row can barely bring themselves to discuss, ‘legendary’ is the only word. Some of what you hear about him is true; some has simply grown through the telling.

The man’s voice, as instantly identifiable as that of Axl Rose, remains an air raid siren of a thing on this, incredibly his first album in 10 years. But for the fact that he’s as mad as a sieve without holes, you’d pick him for your band every day. That voice, that persona, just screams ‘rock star’, and so it proves on killer opener Everybody Bleeds and surging, heavily melodic rip-snorters like Crucify Me and Hard Darkness. Being Sebastian Bach isn’t something you can do at half speed, and he’s admitted to screaming his way to a hernia, requiring surgery in 2017, but thankfully, and despite its introspective-sounding title, Child Within The Man is Bach at full force.

Collaborators include Orianthi and current Mötley Crüe guitarist John 5, the former guesting on a superb Future Of Youth, the latter excelling on Freedom. Seb isn’t too big to lampoon himself – check the video for the none too intellectually challenging What Do I Got To Lose, essentially a sequel to Skid Row classic Monkey Business, in which he pokes fun at the ridiculous swagger he adopted for that song’s video.

Not everything’s a win – Vendetta sounds like three average songs mashed up – but crucially this unlikely comeback is heavy and a heap of fun. Given that Judas Priest just released one of the best albums in their 50-year career, Sebastian Bach will be hoping that seniority is the new youth (gone wild). Our mad-as-toast, perma-headbanging mate isn’t doing anything new, but what he does he still does mighty well.

Verdict: 3/5

For fans of: Alter Bridge, Guns N’Roses, Halestorm

Child Within The Man is released by Reigning Phoenix on May 10.

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