REVIEW: Adler – ‘Back From the Dead’

Posted: February 11, 2013 by Jeffrey Maki in Reviews
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adler-back-from-the-deadSteven Adler finally has lost his Appetite. Between his run in Guns N’ Roses and his own band, Adler’s Appetite, he basically has been playing the same album live for 25 years. The new band formed after a chance meeting in Hollywood between Adler and vocalist Jacob Bunton (Lynam, Mars Electric) and Adler’s Appetite guitarist Lonny Paul. The title, Back from the Dead, could have several meanings, but since Adler was never really “dead”—I least I don’t think he was—this is his way of saying that at age 47, he’s finally ready to move on and make a new name for himself.

It’s an album that in many ways mirrors Slash’s recent solo albums with vocalist Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge). Both bands have powerhouse vocalists and that GNR attitude. Like Slash, Adler and friends have taken their styles of classic and glam rock, and molded them into a more modern sound that still respects their roots and influences. Bunton is an amazing rock ‘n’ roll singer, giving the album an identity and, of course, Steven’s “rattlesnake shake” rhythm is all over the record. Not to mention guest appearances from Slash (on the power ballad “Just Don’t Ask”) and Rob Zombie guitarist John 5 (“Good to be Bad”). “Own Worst Enemy” is my personal standout. It features that “Mr. Brownstone” shake I was talking about above and a chorus that is tailor made for rock radio. “The One That You Hated” is another that reminds me of the old GNR days. Yet songs like “Waterfall” and “Good to be Bad,” have that more modern edge, this one maybe thanks to John 5’s guitar chops. Former Dokken bassist/vocalist Jeff Pilson produced the record and also plays bass throughout, making Adler somewhat of a rock supergroup.

Many fans probably still see Steven Adler as somewhat of a joke. Let’s face it—he hasn’t really helped that perception of himself throughout the years with his constant clamoring for a GNR reunion. Plus, did anyone see his stint on Celebrity Rehab? But I think this is it—Adler is indeed back from the dead with a badass record and could hit it big with the right breaks. And like he said in our Live Metal interview (read here), for those who haven’t given up on him, you’ll be rewarded with this surprising album.

—Jeff Maki

(New Ocean Media, 2013)

Rating: 8/10

 

Jeff enjoys satanic death metal and may still be banned from Canada.

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