Follow Us on Twitter

Meatloaf - Bat Out of Hell 3: The Monster Is Loose

Meatloaf, Bat Out Of Hell 3: The Monster Is Loose

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

THE Bat Out of Hell series is widely regarded as ‘the greatest epic saga in rock history’. As such, the third chapter The Monster Is Loose is certainly as keenly-anticipated as its PR suggests.

And fans of the first two installments will be pleased to hear that its creator, Meat Loaf, has maintained the standards set by its predecessors.

Bat Out Of Hell III still fuses moments of baroque, operatic emotion and larger-than-life storytelling with a raw rock and roll electricity that gives rise to some spectacular theatrics. What’s more, it’s delivered with the help of an impressive line-up of collaborators.

Regular Bat Out Of Hell songwriter and collaborator Jim Steinman is back, having patched up his differences with Meat Loaf, while the support cast of musicians and singers includes Queen’s Brian May, Steve Vai and internationally successful Norwegian singer Marion Raven.

The overall tone is dark – with many songs talking of pain and suffering – but the album feels as though it has been written with the bright lights of Broadway in mind.

Hence, everything unfolds on an epic scale, with mighty choruses, soaring strings and empowering guitar solos a regular feature of proceedings. But, according to Meat Loaf, the songs assume a much more personal feel this time around and there are fewer character studies.

The album kicks off in extravagant style with an emphatic guitar intro giving way to the operatic title track, before slowing down somewhat for Blind As A Bat and the ballad It’s All Coming Back To Me Now, featuring a duet between Meat Loaf and Raven.

Thereafter, it’s a heady mix of highly theatrical rock that builds towards several emotional highs – Meat Loaf’s emphatic delivery ensuring that the passion is maintained throughout.

Brian May’s distinctive guitar style stands out on the revival of Steinman’s song Bad For Good, while Steve Vai gets to indulge himself on the Gothic blockbuster The Land Of The Pig, The Butcher Is King, which marks the album at its most intense and ambitious.

There’s plenty of sweeping emotion on the heartfelt Cry Over Me, which positively screams out with heartbreak, while there are several moments that hint at the majesty of I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That), such as the piano-led crowd-pleaser Alive and the inspiring What About Love, featuring Patti Russo.

Most of the songs also take on an epic length, with the average running time clocking in at around seven minutes. But they’re all so meticulously structured and passionately delivered that you can forgive Meat Loaf the indulgence.

Album producer Desmond Child says of the albums: “They’re really renegade records; when they come out they are never like anything else.” While John 5 (of Marilyn Manson fame) adds: “The world knows that Meat Loaf is an amazing talent. But now that he’s back, he wants to kick ass and he’s really living those lyrics.”

It’s hard not to agree. Fans of the Bat Out Of Hell series can’t fail to be impressed with its return. And in live format, the shows promise to be truly spectacular. Expect it to be a rock monster in terms of sales – and deservedly so.

Track listing:
Disc 1:

  1. Monster Is Loose
  2. Blind As A Bat
  3. It’s All Coming Back To Me Now
  4. Bad For Good
  5. Cry Over Me
  6. In The Land Of The Pigs (The Butcher Is King)
  7. Monstero
  8. Alive
  9. If God Could Talk
  10. If It Ain’t Broke Fix It

Disc 2:

  1. The Monster Is Loose – A Career Montage
  2. Bat Out Of Hell 3 – Animated trailer
  3. The Making of Bat Out Of Hell 3