Released: 2013, Frontiers Records
You have to give kudos to Sebastian Bach; it’s been 16 years since his split from Skid Row, and the guy just keeps on plugging away with albums and tours, bringing the metal to the masses. His last album, 2011’s KICKING& SCREAMING was well-received so the time seems right for him to issue his first live album since 1998. Appropriately, it’s a double-disc, featuring his set at the 2012 Hellfest event in France, as well as a smaller show at the Club Nokia in Los Angeles, also in 2012.
Let’s get the big con out of the way first: the track lists are weighted heavily towards debut-era Skid Row. That is to be expected, but fans of Bach’s solo career or those hoping for a hidden diamond from his Skid Row years will be disappointed. Similarly, the two sets heavily overlap. In fact, both sets feature seven of the same songs. Again, you’d expect that Bach would play his best known songs, but it would have been nice to get some more variety. As such, it’s the lesser known songs that come off the best, just because they’re newer. It helps that Bach and the band play both sets with the energy and passion of band’s half their age, and the parade of guests (Black Veil Brides, Roy Z.) that highlight the Club Nokia show make it a highlight.
Musically there are no complaints and even if Bach isn’t quite the screamer that he used to be, he’s still a damn sight better than 90% of vocalists out there. As a listening experience, I still prefer Bach’s studio output, but Abachalypse Now is a great representation of the rock ‘n roll vitality that Bach brings to the world.