There's just something about Sebastian Bach that's compelling. Sure, he comes off like a knob a lot of the time in the media, but at his core, he's really just a guy that loves making music and isn't ashamed to talk about it. Yes, he comes off like a fanboy at times; particularly when talking about his love for bands like Kiss and Guns N' Roses. But regardless of all that, the guy fronted one of the better bands from the '80s in Skid Row. For those of us that had the chance to see Skid Row back in the proverbial day, we all remember just how good Bach (and the rest of the band for that matter) was on stage during that time. Performing live has always been Bach's bread and butter. Now as a solo artist, it's still where he earns his stripes. While there's been some controversy about him going back and "fixing" the newly released ABACHALYPSE NOW, Bach does make a good point about this. He states that he doesn't want to put out a bad product when he can create something that people will replay for years to come. Fair enough. It's certainly worked for his idols Kiss. So why not?
ABACHALYPSE NOW, fixed or not, is a pretty solid collection of live recordings from various points on his KICKING AND SCREAMING tour. From the opening "Slave To The Grind", Bach comes roaring out to the stage and makes it known that there's still a lot of rock n' roll left in him. What's most impressive about ABACHALYPSE NOW is the way that he's incorporated a good amount of solo material in with the more well known Skid Row stuff. Songs like "Kicking And Screaming" and "Tunnelvision" sound great here, and mix very well against a backdrop of Skid Row classics like "Here I Am" and "Monkey Business". To his credit, Bach has surrounding himself with a great set of players. Drummer Bobby Jarzombek is a human time machine, so it's doubtful they had to clean up any of his playing. He roars throughout the entire set as he keeps a thunderous beat on songs like "Big Guns" and "American Metalhead". Now departed guitarist Nick Sterling is a does a great job covering the parts of Dave "Snake" Sabo. He sounds very much like Sabo's live performances, complete with the almost exact tone as what they used to do before Bach left his former band.
PITRIFF RATING - 82/100 - Not sure what there really is to say here. It's no secret that it's not truly a "live" recording, but it's a good listen. It's funny how the same fans that will bitch about this will also bitch if Bach left in the missed notes and would complain that he's "lost it". Whatever. As a pseudo-live release, ABACHALYPSE NOW is solid. BRING 'EM BACH ALIVE was probably a bit better, but if you are a fan of Bach and his music in or out of Skid Row, you'll dig this.