Animal Drive - Bite!

Animal Drive - Bite!
Animal Drive
Frontiers Music Srl
TSO are both a proving ground and a bit of a cancer for rock and metal. Basically a moneymaking “Christmas” show, with tracks that either belong to the band that’s behind it (Savatage) or are in the public domain, so no $ have to be paid and they’re well known. No matter what, they’ve given a number of struggling good musicians, a sure meal ticket around Xmas, so they can bust our balls with dubious original material the rest of the year.
Dino Jelusic is a guy that hails from Croatia, and you guessed it, sings for TSO. There he met with the well-known JSS (a rock/metal long timer with probably more credits than people have bones). His band also hailing from Croatia, who pitched them to Frontiers, who signed them on. I must say they remind me largely of the aborted “SOTO” band – albums. A more modern/edgy hard rock with the vocals somewhere between the harder Skid Row later day style Dio and JSS of course. Only JSS was smart enough to put a couple of more melodic tracks in there, to not completely estrange his fandom (not that it worked to great effect – since the albums were mediocre at best).
Things sort of mirror that here, with songs like the more melodic “Hands of Time”, or the half balladry of “Carry On” and the anthemic “Father”. But despite the obvious talent, there’s something wrong with “Bite!”. Trying to assimilate too many influences and screaming things out, rather than singing them from the heart, really emoting and not overloading the songs with stuff – I must say that I hate how guitars are mixed on many places on this album and almost unnecessarily antagonize other instruments and fuzz out the whole thing. Not terrible, but far from brilliant.