Rock Eyez Webzine
Rock Eyez
Rock Eyez Webzine

Obsession - Carnival Of Lies
Meat Loaf
Virgin Records
Bat Out Of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose
Melodic Hard Rock
5 stars

Do you prefer the roar of a crowd to the silence of a theater? Would you choose a big slab of meat over a garden salad and some tofu? Do you have a flair for the dramatic? Well then you MUST be a Meat Loaf fan and his latest release, "Bat Out Of Hell III (The Monster Is Loose)" , will give you plenty to scream about!

Every once in a while there comes an album of simply EPIC proportion. An absolute symphony to the ears, rich in both musical and lyrical content and a production value which rivals anything that has ever come before it. The combination of legendary song writer Jim Steinman , hit-maker Desmond Child and the unrelenting, powerful and captivating voice of the 'big man' himself, Meat Loaf , produces just album of incredible and EPIC proportion!

It's funny how every time Steinman and Meat Loaf get together, they create a classic while other Meat Loaf releases just seem to fall flat. And even though Steinman was only involved with seven of the fourteen tracks, he seems to leave a mark on the singer like no one else can; which was more than enough to keep the adrenaline pumping long after Child stepped in. Like Taupin and John , Steinman just knows how to bring out the best in Meat Loaf and together they create magic.

For the first time in the 'trilogy,' however, 'BOOH III' doesn't even open up with a Steinman track! Instead, the song-writing trio of Desmond Child, Nikki Sixx (MOTLET CRUE) and John 5 (Marilyn Manson) take the reigns and create an opening track that will knock your socks off! 'The Monster Is Loose' is a seven-minute/ twelve-second extravaganza that will leave you breathless. It's definitely heavier than anything I have ever heard from Meat Loaf before and almost has a sound similar to that of DREAM THEATER or something off of QUEENSRYCHE's classic 'Operation:Mindcrime.' Very different for the big guy but he delivers a vocal like no one else ever could.

Another Child track, 'Blind As A Bat,' comes next. Another high-powered rocker which delivers all the energy and theatrics you are use to from a 'Bat Out Of Hell' release. This is classic Meat Loaf and one of the best tracks on the if there was a bad one!

Finally a Steinman track! 'It's All Coming Back to Me Now' is a soothing power-duet featuring Marion Raven on the other end of the microphone and as Mr. Loaf's alter-ego this time around. WOW! What a voice on this woman! I can't WAIT to hear more from her in the future! But I digress...'It's All Coming Back To Me Now' was made popular in the late 90's by Celine Dion ...and they label her as a 'diva?' In her wildest dreams, she couldn't capture all the feeling and emotion radiated between Meat Loaf and Raven . Simply put...a perfect song...period.

'Bad For Good' kicks it up a notch once again and features the unmistakable guitar work of the legendary Brian May (do I even have to say QUEEN? ). This one actually goes WAY back into the Steinman archives and was the title track to his only solo release back in 1981. Now a bit more updated and not as reliant on the heavy piano of the original, it has a sound similar to that of 'Everything Louder Than Everything Else' off of 'Bat Out Of Hell II.'

'Cry Over Me' is an emotional ballad in typical Meat Loaf style. Written by Diane Warren , this song grips you and tugs at your heart stings in a way only Meat Loaf can.

Now we make that sharp turn back into, what I like to call, 'Heavy-Metal Meat Loaf! ' Again, very different for him...I mean we all knew Meat could rock, but when you hear tracks like this and 'The Monster Is Loose,' you're going to be VERY surprised. Its double-bass drum pumps through your chest and the searing guitar of guest guitarist Steve Vai engulfs 'In The Land Of The Pig, The Butcher Is King' and produces one of the best guitar solos on the release.

'Monstro' is a short instrumental piece and chanting introduction to 'Alive' which again reverts a bit back to that old Meat Loaf style from 'Bat I & II.' While not a Steinman song, Child's is able to reproduce all the elements of a Steinman classic... a strong, powerful, harmonic chorus, heavy piano rhythm and full, orchestral sound that Steinman is famous for.

'If Only God Could Talk,' while toned down a bit into more of a rock power-ballad, continues on in the same vein while 'If It Ain't Broke, Break It' mixes all of Steinman's elements into another high-octane rocker featuring a very prevalent horn section.

The familiar voice of Patti Russo compliments Meat Loaf on the up-tempo duet 'What About Love.' While its make-up absolutely SCREAMS 'Bat I,' the guitar work and keyboard parts almost remind me of a cross between U2 and Bruce Springsteen .

Clocking in at nine-minutes/ forty-six seconds, 'Seize the Night' kicks off the final three tracks on the release...all by Steinman , and with its operatic and traditional theatric tone, is just another Steinman classic.

Sharing the microphone one last time with Jennifer Hudson of 'American Idol' fame, Meat Loaf settles into 'The Future Ain't What It Use To Be' before ending 'BOOH III' with the soft, heart-felt ballad 'Cry To Heaven' as the curtain begins to fall on this absolute masterpiece.

Look, the artwork by Julie Bell ( ALONE is enough to need this CD in your collection! I've heard people many times over refer to things as an 'instant classic,' but those words couldn't be more apropos than about Meat Loaf's 'Bat Out Of Hell III (The Monster Is Loose)' . It's too bad these guys can only come up with this stuff once a decade, but if this is just a prelude as to what's to come, I am looking forward to the future more now than ever before.

Band Lineup:
  • Meat Loaf - Lead Vocals
  • Matt Rollings - Piano, organ
  • Mark Alexander - Organ
  • John 5 - Guitar (track 1)
  • Steve Vai - Guitar (track 6)
  • Brian May - Guitar (track 4)
  • Eric Bazilian - Guitar (track 2)
  • Paul Crook - Guitar (track 2)
  • Corky James - Guitar
  • Kasim Sulton - Bass
  • Victor Indrizzo - drums
  • Kenny Aronof - Percussion, drums
  • Marion Raven - Vocals (track 3)
  • Patti Russo - Vocals (track 11)
  • Jennifer Hudson - Vocals (track 13)
  • *Too many more musicians to name...


Track Listing:
  1. The Monster Is Loose
  2. Blind As A Bat
  3. It s All Coming Back To Me Now
  4. Bad For Good
  5. Cry Over Me
  6. In The Land Of The Pig, The Butcher Is King
  7. Monstro
  8. Alive
  9. If God Could Talk
  10. If It Ain t Broke, Break It
  11. What About Love
  12. Seize The Night
  13. The Future Ain t What It Use To Be
  14. Cry To Heaven


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