Snakebite have taken me by surprise. Before hearing their album Princess Of Pain, I had seen their video for “Road To Nowhere” and I liked their straight forward rock that reminded me of the ’80s hair metal era without the frills. However, I wrongly suspected that “Road To Nowhere” was the group’s best song and that the rest of the songs might pale in comparison. Talk about misconceived notions! I was pleasantly surprised after my first listen of Snakebite‘s Princess Of Pain because every song seemed to be quite good and all of them seemed to be at the level of “Road To Nowhere.”
Many listens later and I am just loving Princess Of Pain. There are so many things to like about Snakebite. Uncomplicated catchy rock n’ roll, great melodic guitar solos, a lead singer’s voice that I absolutely love and a tight rhythm section are just a few of the many great things about the band. What more can an ’80s heavy metal music lover ask for? The best tracks are actually deep into the album. Songs such as “Bound To Lose” and “All Or Nothing” are a pure joy to listen to and instantaneously get my attention each time that I play the album. The two possible knocks on Princess Of Pain — which is also what makes the album so good — is that firstly, the songs aren’t overly complicated and might sound a bit generic to some. However, I have always been a proponent that a good song is a good song, and Snakebite simply deliver song after song. Secondly, there is no song that really stands out above the others as that obvious “hit” song. Nevertheless, if you are into one great straight forward song after another without needing the “big” hit, Princess Of Pain will most likely deliver exactly what you need.
Although the German rockers’ sound reminds me of more straight forward rocking bands from the ’80s — I have been racking my brain trying to give you some ’80s bands to compare with but none come to mind — the group appears to be trying to distance themselves from the “sex, drugs and rock n’ roll” mantra with positive messages against standardized and slavish lifestyles.
I would not be surprised in the least if Snakebite‘s Princess Of Pain found itself nestled in Sleaze Roxx’s Top Ten Albums of 2015 at the end of the year. It is a shame that Snakebite is based in Germany because I have the feeling that their songs would translate really well live and this Canadian’s chances of seeing them play live at this time appear pretty slim.
01. Road To Nowhere
02. Cry For Rock
03. Draw The Line
04. Live It Up
05. After Dark
06. Princess Of Pain
07. Bound To Lose
08. All Or Nothing
09. Break The Spell
10. We Rise
Dominik “Nikki” Wagner – guitar, lead vocals
Julian Fischer – drums, vocals
Alex Lacroix – bass, acoustic guitar, vocals
Martin Gerloff – guitar, vocals
Produced by Snakebite
Guitars, bass and vocals recorded by Tom Kornis
Drums recorded by Dennis Koehne
Mixed and mastered by Dennis Koehne
Reviewed by Olivier for Sleaze Roxx, September 2015