Johnny O’Neil – Truth or Dare Review

The album culture is something deeply rooted inside Metal music. It’s the nature of we metallers not to talk about songs, we talk about albums and all the songs they got. It’s like telling a history with twists, or not. We are prone to say by heart that thing we love about the albums of the bands we love. That’s a natural thing for us. Take it or leave it. Just the other day I read someone – please, don’t ask me who. I can’t remember! -saying that Metal should record only songs rather than albums as other music styles are doing lately. Well, with all due respect, that’s a truckload of nonsense. Metal music has a peculiar flair for albums I guess because albums tell histories. Besides that the band can show many facets in an album. An album is complex, an album is deep. “Truth or Dare” fulfills all these above.

One of the things one may notice in this “Truth or Dare” is that there are many features under the Hard Rock umbrella. Aware of that Johnny O’Neil did a travel around influences and textures. The band captured exactly what was the idea that kept bands as early Judas Priest, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin – just a little bit. Depending on the mood “Truth or Dare” may be melodic, “Truth or Dare” may be hard as iron. From track one “Snake in the Grass” to last, but not least, and instrumental “World Run Amuck” the fan guarantees a trip around many Hard Rock moods or I dare say Proto Metal moods.

The album kicks off with “Snake in the Grass” a song that could easily be part of Judas Priest’s “Sad Wings of Destiny” due to the resemblance of Johnny O’Neil’s voice with Robert Halford’s. Following track “Comin’ to You” changes a lot the mood being a Hard Rock piece that could be in any of their peers of the 1980s. Same mood, same cadence, same joy with strong guitars with chord riffing. The resemblance with Halford’s voice is incredible and it gets stronger track by track. “Truth or Dare” also explores the kight side of music with tracks as “Down and Round” with its UFO mooding. This track could easily – Again? I’ve just said that – be part the classic and eternal “Lights out.” Another facete of the are the instrumental and semi-ballads as “Ode to Mark” and its travelling guitar – travelling because it gives the idea the guitar is travelling through the chords. “Temple” also has this ballad touch with an acoustic guitar and a sweet keyboarding.

I have to say that I liked “Truth or Dare” very much. It’s an album to be heard track by track calmly in a dark room with a good company.

Johnny O’Neil “Truth or Dare” was independently released on January 21st.

Track Listing:

  1. Snake in the Grass
  2. Comin’ for You
  3. Tell Me What You Think You Know
  4. Down and Round
  5. Ode to Mark
  6. Temple
  7. Red Suns in the Sky
  8. Revolution
  9. World Run Amuck

Watch “Snake in the Grass” official video here: