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Back to Reality

Slaughter

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Album Review

Encouraged by their continued success as a touring unit, Slaughter reorganized following the tragic death of guitarist Tim Kelly with Back to Reality, which introduces new guitarist Jeff Blando. Regardless, it's still the same old Slaughter, albeit a touch heavier than they were in their hit-making prime — they're catering to hard rock radio rather than power-ballad-hungry Top 40 programmers (which actually serves them well). Still, it's knowing their audience that's kept Slaughter around this long, and that audience wants straight-ahead, melodic, meat-and-potatoes hard rock. So even if most of the music on Back to Reality will sound somewhat rote and by the numbers to listeners who have no appetite for '80s-style pop-metal in 1999, it simply wouldn't pay for the band to take any chances or alter their sound — and, actually, as Back to Reality proves, they're still pretty good at it, delivering decent songs and convincing performances demonstrating that they aren't just phoning it in. There's nothing earth-shattering here, but the level of quality is pleasantly surprising, and certainly not that far below their commercial heyday.

Biography

Formed: 1988

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Former Vinnie Vincent Invasion members Mark Slaughter and bassist Dana Strum formed Slaughter with guitarist Tim Kelly and drummer Blas Elias in 1988 in an attempt to cross over to pop audiences. Their metal style's main focus is on catchy melodies and Mark Slaughter's impressive vocal range, particularly his somewhat nasal falsetto. Their first two studio albums sold quite well until their style fell out of favor with the alternative explosion. The group struggled throughout the 1990s, and on February...
Full Bio
Back to Reality, Slaughter
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