Meat Loaf – Bat Out Of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose / 2006 Virgin / 14 Tracks / http://www.meatloaf.net / http://www.virginrecords.com / Reviewed 06 April 2007
It has been over a decade since Meat Loaf came out with eir last CD. However, it was right around the same amount of time since the first “Bat Out of Hell” CD was released to the world, so I suppose that Meat Loaf has created a trend in eir own right. The first track is “The Monster is Loose”, and it has a harder sound than any of Meat Loaf’s best known sound. The instrumentation on the track lightens up considerably when Meat’s vocals start up on the track, but there is still a sense of hard rock present on the track. One has to compare Meat Loaf’s first track on “Bat Out of Hell III” to the work of Evanescence, as both seem to have this blend of strong vocals blended with a harder rock style than would normally be present for that set of vocals.
The decision to have this opening track be over seven minutes Is something that I question, as the individual has to be ready and willing to sit through what on its own feels like a mini-opera. While very few of the tracks on this disc conform to a normal track length (“Cry Over Me”, “Alive”, “If God Could Talk”, and “If It Ain’t Broke Break It” are the only songs on this disc to do so). While Meat Loaf is able to show eir vocal talents throughout the disc, it feels as if the first few efforts do not pick up quite the same steam as “Paradise By The Dashboard Light” or “I’d Do Anything For Love”. “Blind As A Bat” gets close, but the re-working of “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” stops any momentum that Meat Loaf could have created; the track is just linked inexorably to the work of Celine Dion.
“Bad For Good” is a track that sneaks in under the radar, and allows Meat Loaf to recreate some of the magic from earlier albums. The track again operates at the seven-plus minute mark, but this time, there is more than enough material to allow for Meat Loaf to continue through without running out of gas. Meat Loaf has a few tracks that will shine with all the power and glory of the prior Bat Out Of Hell albums; there might be some things that holds eir back from chalking this up as a complete success, but all in all, fans of Meat Loaf will love this album just like they did the last few albums.
Top Tracks: Bad For Good, Alive