Belladonna - Belladonna
Mausoleum Records
Power Metal
13 songs (57:02)
Release year: 1995
Mausoleum Records
Reviewed by Jeff
Archive review
Untitled Document

Joey Belladona was the second lead vocalist for the speed metal moshers Anthrax. He was one of the first to lead a crop of metal vocalists with a style of clarity, power and air raid wails. He was with the band from about 1984 till 1992, recording five studio albums, including a couple of Eps. Unfortunately he was kicked out of the band in 92’. Joey admitted later on that he never really felt part of the band and that his musical direction was different from that of Anthrax. In fact, Journey is one of his major influences.

In 1995 Joey re-grouped and formed Bellandonna, releasing his first solo album of the same name for Mausoleum records. . I have to compare Belladonna’s effort to that of Billy Milano’s forming M.O.D. after S.O.D.. With the help of long time producer Alex Perialis (M.O.D., Testament, Overkill, Anthrax), Joey Belladonna created an album that was closer in sound and style to Anthrax albums like “Spreading The Disease” and “Among The Living”. The music isn’t as fast or as heavy in the sense that the drumming is not like Charlie Benante nor the guitar playing like Scott Ian. There is one guitarist doing all of the work (Darin Scott), and a fine job he does. I consider the first three tracks the highlights of the album; Blunt Man, Power Trip and the single/video “Rob You Blind”.

Over the years Joey’s vocals have somewhat suffered. This was evident on an Anthrax album like “Among the Living” where at times he struggled to hit those high wails. The transition and consistency wasn’t as smooth. This was due to his cocaine use. I know of this because I went to college in upstate NY, SUNY Oswego. I had the opportunity to hang out with Joey a few times because the guys I roomed with at the time had formed friendships with him. Joey is a native of Oswego. He was cool and down to earth but skinny as hell! But I must give him credit on this solo effort. He doesn’t try to strain his voice and over-sing. Overall this is a good power metal album that rates up there with earlier Anthrax albums.

Killing Songs :
Blunt Man, Powertrip, Rob You Blind
Jeff quoted 80 / 100
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