Review: Sebastian Bach – ‘Child Within The Man’

Admittedly not as lengthy of a wait between albums as the 17 years that Axl made GNR fans wait, but 10 years between albums is still a hell of a long time. And unlike ‘Chinese Democracy’, Sebastian Bach’s return with solo album number 5 ‘Child Within The Man’ has been worth the wait. And who had such stalwarts of the hard rock & metal scene as Sebastian Bach, Saxon, and Judas Priest releasing such strong albums on their 2024 bingo card?

Save for a headline-grabbing appearance last year on the US TV show ‘The Masked Singer’, Bach has been quiet of late. Well, as quiet as the 6-foot-plus Canadian-raised bonafide Rock Star can be. Bach came out of the womb in spandex, and when the Doctor slapped him, Bach let out an ear-piercing scream, and started headbanging, and the rest is history. Larger than life is such an overused hyperbole but in the case of Bach it is apt. Big guy, big heart, and a big voice. Thankfully that big voice is still as potent as it was back in 1989 when Skid Row burst onto the scene with their multi-platinum self-titled debut album.

‘Everybody Bleeds’ is the perfect album-opener and comes out of the gate at full speed. The gradual build of the intro (including a low spoken word moment that echoes the intro to the Skid Row classic ‘Monkey Business’) soon explodes to life with an elongated ear-piercing scream from Bach that announces “I’m back”. Not a million miles away from early Skid Row (and why should it be?) it benefits hugely from the incredible drum sound that go-to producer Elvis Baskette (Sevendust, Alter Bridge, Tremonti, Slash, amongst others) is known for.

‘Freedom’ could be an outtake from the sessions for Skid Row’s monster sophomore album ‘Slave To The Grind’, but this time with some spacey guitar work from the inimitable John 5 who says more with a handful of notes than most shredders do with dozens. Both classic and modern, it rips. As does ‘(Hold On) To The Dream’ which at this moment in time is just ahead in the race to be standout track of the 11 featured on the album. The opening few moments give the impression that the track is going down a power ballad route only for it to grow into this gnarly, brooding beast of a track that reminds the listener of why they got into hard rock & metal in the first place.

Bach has assembled a fine band of players to bring his songs to life; guitarist Devin Bronson shines as he fills in the blanks around guest slots from 6-stringers such as John 5, Orianthi (‘Future of Youth’ is badass and Bach’s lower register works wonders), and Steve Stevens (‘F.U.’ is the punch to the throat on the album and the punky vibe suits Stevens perfectly), while the backbone of Jeremy Colson (drums) and Todd Kerns of SMK&TC fame (bass) constantly impress; especially on the Myles Kennedy co-write ‘What Do I Got To Lose?’, ‘Hard Darkness’, and the hard hits from Colson on ‘About To Break’ add some bite to one of the more melodic tracks on the album.

‘Child Within The Man’ is classic Bach, and arguably the album that Skid Row should have made in 1995 instead of ‘Subhuman Race’. It is as you would expect a Sebastian Bach album to sound in 2024 – fast-paced, loud, brash, full of vocal pyrotechnics, and very enjoyable. Maybe not leave it another 10 years for the follow-up, eh?

Available now via Reigning Phoenix Music. More information, HERE.

Review – Dave

Photo credit – Jim Louvau

Album artwork – David Bierk

Sebastian Bach’s 2024 tour dates are currently as follows:

Tue May 14 – Jacksonville, NC – Hooligans

Thu May 16 – Patchogue, NY – Patchogue Theatre for The Performing Arts

Fri May 17 – Warren OH – Packard Music Hall

Sat May 18 – Bensalem, PA – Parx Casino

Sun May 19 – Baltimore, MD – Rams Head Live

Tue May 21 – New Haven, CT – Toad’s Place

Wed May 22 – Albany, NY – Empire Live

Fri May 24 – Montreal, QC – Theatre Beanfield

Tue May 28 – Warrendale, PA – Jergel’s Rhythm Grille

Wed May 29 – Grand Rapids, MI – Elevation

Fri May 31 – Indianapolis, IN – Hendricks Live!

Sat Jun 01 – Morgantown, WV – Ruby Amphitheatre

Sun Jun 02 – Columbus, OH – King Of Clubs

Tue Jun 04 – Detroit, MI – St Andrews Hall

Wed Jun 05 – Madison, WI – Majestic Theatre

Fri Jun 07 – Joliet, IL – The Forge

Sat Jun 08 – St. Charles, IL – Arcada Theatre

Sun Jun 09 – Moline, IL – The Rust Belt

Tue Jun 11 – Des Moines, IA – Wooly’s

Wed Jun 12 – Lincoln, NE – Bourbon Theatre

Fri Jun 14 – Colorado Springs, CO – Sunshine Studios

Sat Jun 15 – Denver, CO – Summit

Sun Jun 16 – Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater

Tue Jun 18 – Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom

Wed Jun 19 – Little Rock, AR – The Hall

Fri Jun 21 – Dallas, TX – The Lexus Box Garden at Legacy Hall

Sat Jun 22 – Houston, TX – Scout Bar

Sun Jun 23 – San Antonio, TX – The Rock Box

Tue Jun 25 – Tucson, AZ – Rialto

Thu Jun 27 – Ventura, CA – Ventura Theater

Fri Jun 28 – Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory

Sat Jun 29 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues

Click HERE for all ticketing info and to purchase tickets.


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