Hair Metal Mansion

MICHAEL SWEET - One Sided War - Hair Metal Mansion Album Review

Hair Metal Mansion correspondent DAWN OSBOURNE checks in with the following:

His seventh solo album, Michael himself described it as his heaviest yet. Indeed as Stryper have taken a heavier direction lately this album follows suit. It’s at least as heavy as Dragonforce in parts and fans of power metal may be very pleasantly surprised. Michael has afforded himself of the talents of Joel Hoekstra of Whitesnake (on three songs) and Ethan Brosh on guitar (on six), Will Hunt of Evanescence on drums and John O’Boyle on bass and each has attacked this project with the unrelenting hammer blows of Thor himself. Michael himself is in fine voice and despite some very modest comments in the press he made himself recently about his own voice, he fronts this metal power house with consummate ease and flair.

As such ‘Bizarre’, ‘One Sided War’ and the monster riff laden ‘Can’t Take this Life’ explode with blistering guitar and vocals and continue into epic territory. Metal this most certainly is and will puts a big smile on the face of any true metal fan. ‘Radio’ is a change of pace and a comment that rock musicians should stick to what they know best, uncontroversial at least at that level. Ironically it is a catchy more commercial number, maybe destined for a bit of radio attention itself. Then we are swept away again by another wall of great metal ‘Golden Age’ and ‘I am’ reminding us of Dio, big themes delivered with gravitas. ‘Only you’, “Who am I’, ‘You make me wanna’ and ‘Comfort zone’ all songs with more than one possible meaning personal and religious, keeps things hefty in more than one way and while dealing with serious issues such as redemption, love, guilt and contrition, we barely notice due to masterful delivery of fine melodic rock peppered with awesome vocal delivery and literally electric guitar.

In the bonus track second version of ‘Can’t Take This Life’ Michael is also generous enough to share the spotlight with up and coming fifteen year old vocalist Moriah Formica. This is definitely a case of one good turn reflecting glory and kudos to him in a triumphant version of this song as she returns his favour with her great contribution and counterpoint to all that unbridled male energy becoming more than the sum of its parts.

A great mix of classic hard rock with a modern heavier edge, Michael will need the controversy of the occasional Christian lyric to avoid pleasing all of the people all of the time.


Dawn Osborne

8/10

Pick up your copy of "One Sided War" NOW via Rat Pak Records here

Click here to listen to Michael Sweet's recent appearance on the Hair Metal Mansion Radio Show. 

Courtesy of Hair Metal Mansion, www.hairbangersradio.ning.com 

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The video for Radio seems more like Ron Keel Heavy Metal Cowboy. This is on my digital want list. Not sure if this one is worth the real CD, but it sounds good.

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