Menace to Society (Metal Blade)
by Joe Hacking
Paul Di’anno has been a busy boy since he left Iron Maiden. He’s played with just about every ex-member of every washed up ’80s metal band, recorded a slew of records under a myriad of names, (most recently Praying Mantis with ex-Maiden guitarist Dennis Stratton) and done time in an L.A. prison.
And it is with the angst of his recent incarceration that Di’anno produced Menace To Society (Metal Blade) with his band Killers. From the first second of “Advance And Be Recognized,” we hear Di’anno mimicking the sound of Pantera, electronic kickdrum thudding dully in your face, a throaty roar making you wonder if this is the same guy who sang “Phantom of the Opera.” The Pantera cloning continues on songs like “Die By The Gun” and “Menace To Society,” which are great if you seek that sound. As the disc progresses, we finally hear the solid vocalist we remember. “Past Due” recalls his stint with Maiden, both lyrically and vocally. “Forget the sorrow/Remember tomorrow” sings Di’anno melodically. Songs like “Chemical Imbalance” and “A Song For You” nicely combine the two sides of Di’anno, the roar and the wail. Steve Hopgood (drums), Cliff Evans (guitars), and Gavin Cooper (bass) keep the tracks full of power, especially Evans’ multi-faceted guitar style.
Menace To Society comes as a surprise from a forgotten metal icon like Di’anno. While at times painfully mainstream, Di’anno has survived to carry some of the best ideas from the metal period of popular music into the ’90s.