I've been a fan of Bad As since the beginning, but their new album caught me by surprise. Originating from Italy in 2016 under the name BADASS, then briefly Adrityon, they decided to rename the group to a more appropriate title of BAD AS. It has a better ring to the name. One thing that I really enjoy about this group is that almost every line up of the band has been unique, over the 4 albums they have released has used a different vocalist, or drummer for example. They are not always the same but that doesn't mean it is terrible. This method gives Bad As a fresh and unique sound on every album, providing a brand new and unexpected experience each time. 2023's "Fight The Demons" is also an example of just this.
But where did Bad As begin? What is their origins? Bad As was formed by Italian Metal Bass Guitarist Alberto Rigoni back in 2016. Their first album "MORE PAIN, MORE GAIN" was released in early 2017 which featured vocalist Titta Tani, bassist Alberto Rigoni, lead guitarist Alessio "Lex" Tricarico, & drummer Denis "Denzy" Novello. The first album was quite successful enough for them to tour locally and even supporting big acts opening for the likes of such people as Vinnie Moore and David Ellefson, the latter of Megadeth fame.
In 2018, the group decided to break up but quickly reformed under the new name "BAD AS", releasing their second album "MIDNIGHT CURSE", featuring relatively unknown singer Mattia Martin, replacing Titta Tani, and new drummer Marino De Brotoli. Martin did a great job with vocals on the album so much he stuck around for the 3rd, 2020's "CRUCIFIED SOCIETY" - a more progressively focused album (think Dream Theater mixed with Deep Purple for example) this time round.
Move forward to September 23 2023, and the new BAD AS album "FIGHT THE DEMONS" releases, with a newly revamped lineup featuring new singer John Jeff Touch, and drummer Marco Andreetto. Alessio "Lex" Tricarico is the band's secret weapon, who's been in the group since the beginning and with every lineup formation change, along with bassist Alberto Rigoni. Lex has incredible skill and great tone. His solos always shine, especially on the 4th album as well. The heavy & dark sounding bass guitar riffs give this band a great identifiable sound. My first listen to "FIGHT THE DEMONS" was a really enjoyable one
John Jeff Touch is an amazing singer. I think of him as a cross between Ronnie James Dio and AC/DC's Brian Johnson. He is singing his balls off on this album. The band's first new full length track "You Better Run" is quite possibly one of my favourites. It has a thunderous tribal esque drum beat mixed with shredding guitars & bass and Jeff Touch's chanting "You Better Run" chorus vocals had me really banging to this one. Next up is the very dark sounding "The War Is On" which also unfortunately seems relevant to our times. However, Touch's vocals once again shines, reaching quite the high pitched screams reminiscent of Ian Gillan & Brian Johnson across the dark paths of war. So far this album is getting off to a good start.
"Fight The Demons" is the next track which was also the first lead single. A great dark track mixed with an evil sounding bass line and groove, which displays the band's classic sound once again. Check out the video to this below:
Next up is "NEMESIS", with an almost Pantera - esque groove shuffle, & thrashing drums. I really enjoyed this one a lot. John Jeff Touch's eerie vocals over it is the icing on the cake. It reminds me of the classic 80's era of metal, but with a modern twist.
Although "Where Did The Love Go" may be the obligatory ballad of the album, don't let that fool you. The guitar solo held once again by Lex will blow you away, and it gets bigger and bigger. Another song that is also very relevant of the times, where tensions are running high, wars are happening in the world and racism is a big problem even in modern times. "Where Did The Love Go" successfully asks this question, and it doesn't get answered. A very meaningful track indeed.
The 80's metal sounding track "Inside A Dream" features a thunderous drum rhythm and great riffs, it reminds me of a Rainbow song from the Ronnie James Dio era, with a great guitar solo from Lex once again.
I also really enjoyed "Awake" and thought it could have been the next single. This track has a great build that keeps on getting bigger and bigger. I assume it's a continuation of the song "Inside A Dream", and would have been good for a music video. The chorus lines here are also very catchy and Jeff's mindblowing vocals really stand out here. I like how the album seems to get darker on the 2nd half of the record. There's even a jazz like breakdown in the solo at one point. This is crazy.
BAD AS 2023 - Left to Right : Alberto Rigoni (Bassist & founder), Alessio "LEX" Tricarico (Guitars), John Jeff Touch (Vocals) & Marco Andreetto (Drums)
"AS I WALK AWAY" is a heavy & fast thrasher - kind of reminds me of MR BIG, I hope this one gets performed live at one point if they go on tour again now that COVID Restrictions & Lockdowns have eased. It has probably one of my favourite guitar solos on the album.
The album ends with the metal power ballad "THE ANSWER" where John Jeff Touch showcases his many vocal styles once again - a great way to end an already great album. It is followed by the instrumental outro "Free"
Thank you Alberto & friends for reviving Bad As & bringing out this new album.a strong & triumphant return. I hope it isn't the last time we hear from them.
"FIGHT THE DEMONS" by BAD AS is out now via Aural Music Group. Get your copy on Digital or CD today.
02 You Better Run
03 The War Is On
04 Fight The Demons
06 Where Did The Love Go
07 Inside A Dream
09 As I Walk Away
10 The Answer
Alberto Rigoni - Bassist
John Jeff Touch - Vocals
Alessio "LEX" Tricarico - Guitars
Marco Andreetto- Drums