Meatloaf/Bat Out Of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose

Bat Out Of Hell III

Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose is an album by Meat Loaf; the third and last in the Bat Out of Hell series. It was released in October 2006, nearly thirty years after the first album (1977), and thirteen after Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell (1993).

Produced by Desmond Child, it is the only Bat album not involving Jim Steinman in its production. The album was subject to a legal dispute between Meat Loaf and Steinman, who had registered the phrase “Bat Out of Hell” as a trademark and attempted to prevent the album using the phrase. In the end, seven songs that Steinman wrote for various other projects were included.

As with its predecessors, the album received mixed reviews. A tour, named “Seize the Night tour,” followed the release, concentrating upon songs from the Bat albums.

The Monster Is Loose—-I hate to say it, but it becomes obvious from the opening strains of the song that this is not a Steinman production…the guitars are heavier with a more spacy feel…the progressive sounds are gone. the only saving grace is the rather familiar sounds of Meat and his distinct vocal…even this seems a little bit out of his realm. When we are treated to the chorus, it is like the old days though, the Steinman overtures are there and I think that is based on the delivery style of the vocal. This is nice, but not what you expect based on the two previous releases.

Blind As A Bat—-With a nice piano intro, the song seems poised to be another classic ballad ala Meatloaf. The vocal comes across a little weak…sounding like it might be a pitch to high for the comfortable level of Meat. The quasi-orchestration is acceptable, but this can’t hold a candle to classic ballads from the ‘team’. This is nice and seems to develop nicely as if develops…I like the huge chorus that is beefed up by all kinds of instrumentation. This has worked its way into my brain…I’m loving it more as it progresses.

It’s All Coming Back To Me Now—-Meatloaf managed to score yet another top 40 hit in the Bat series with this single. This has strong Steinman elements with a female vocalist included on the track…the pumped up piano delivery is a perfect match for the two vocalists….the chorus really hits with a modern sound that you would almost mistake for someone other than Meat. none the less, this is classic…I could not ask for anything more from this. this has Steinman written all over it…the huge sweeping arrangements, the overly emotive lyrics and the classic delivery by Meat assured yet another hit for the by now dissolved team. This remains…wonderful.

Bad For Good—-The title track from Steinman’s solo record, this song has been circulated for more years than I care to mention. From the first chords of the song, you know that this is a Steinman composition. This could have easily been included on any of the other two releases with no problem…the piano is huge and sweeping…Meatloaf falls into the familiar territory like a boy returning home from a long journey. this is Air Supply, Meatloaf and Bonnie Tyler all rolled into one huge sweeping track. This is better than good……

Cry Over You—-With a gentle interlude at the beginning of the song that sounds almost foreign to me, this really does not resonate with me…the magic is missing and I keep waiting for this huge masterful overture to enter the song….at times the sound is sweeping…but for the most part this really misses the mark for me…in this case, Desmond Child missed working his magic.

In The Land Of The Pig, The Butcher Is King—-This begins in an odd way…huge monstrous guitars and all kinds of atmosphere and you begin to almost salivate with the galloping guitar…the vocal enters and sounds pushed back to the rear of the mix…sounding a bit uninspired. This to be is kind of bizarre. It is interesting to hear Meat hit some notes that you have never heard him attempt before….besides that, the song falls a bit flat for me. You cannot pretend Jim is here when he is not.

Monstro/Alive—-This has a nice energy from the onset….the orchestration is truly grand…the piano enters and is not nearly as intricate as Steinman but comes pretty damn close. Meat sounds entirely comfortable and really ramps up the energy as the chorus enters the song. This is really nice…this is like a return to the old days…magical.

If God Could Talk—-This is really nice from the very onset of the song. The lush arrangement really works with the vocal and the chorus enters with a magical feel that sucks you in and really makes you listen to the words. You do not expect this makes exclamation from Meat…but it is delivered with so much emotion and power you have to pay attention. To me, this is the high point of this release.

If It Ain’t Broke, Break It—-This is much more aggressive than you would expect…the instrumentation of this song is so huge and all over the remain confused for a moment. The vocal enters and you check the CD to make sure you are still listening to vintage Meatloaf…Meatloaf it is…but the sound is so foreign you feel like you are listening to French version of a classic. The tone of the vocal is too high and the delivery seems rushed and hurried. I really don’t care for this….

What About Love—-The track begins nice enough…the strains of Steinman are all over the song….delivering a Springsteen style musical landscape that allows for Meat to sound much like his old self. This is literally brilliant…I love this song. The emotional quality of the song makes you feel remarkably good…the added female vocal rounds out the song and takes you back 30 years or so to the very beginning of the opus. This is pretty fantastic….classic Meatloaf.

Seize The Night—-This is a huge orchestrated affair that reeks of Broadway and Movie Soundtracks…what is up with that? The overall conclusion for me is unnecessary filler…what is the point…….just as quickly the song settles and allows the entrance of Meat as he delivers a vocal that is pure genius….sometimes you really have to listen to something. The ‘soundtrack’ feel re=emerges…the guitars are huge and sound foreign on this release….but this is supposed to be progressive music so I take it as it comes. This is ok…just way overblown,….even for Meatloaf.

The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be—-NO KIDDING….anyways……with an intro full of actual introspective keyboards, Meatloaf enter almost immediately and delivers a vocal full of pain and angst. The ghostly musical landscape gives the song an even lonelier feel. This is remarkable…at over 7 minutes, this gives the song lots and lots of room to grow and develop and it does. This is a huge quasi rock opera that will please both new fans and old.

Cry To Heaven—-Gentle and full of atmosphere, Meat sounds like he is feeling his age and his legacy. This is serene and sedate and makes you thin of every bad moment that you ever passed by in your lifetime. The gentle flute is remarkable and adds layers and layers to the song. this is a grand sweeping way to end this release.

**** out of 5


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