Though I lived through the day, I never cared much for W.A.S.P. back in the day. Between them and Motley Crue and their goofy sadomasochistic pseudo-Satanic leather posturing, they seemed only cheap imitations of Alice Cooper's shock rock theater. Besides, both Blackie Lawless and Chris Holmes seemed like total degenerate assholes. Don't get me started on those stupid cod pieces. Well, that's one way to start a review of the new W.A.S.P. album, Golgotha.
Another way is to simply say, since Babylon, Lawless and W.A.S.P. have never sounded better. To quote one sage reviewer, "One thing about Blackie Lawless and W.A.S.P. is that they have never been complicated. When you crack open that new album, you pretty much know what you're going to get ... straight up melodic heavy metal with his tight vocal arrangements, a driving rhythm section, and some nasty fire-starting guitar pyrotechnics. Wait. That was me, about the Babylon album, and so it bear repeating for this one.
Blackie sounds great, strong and passionate. While age has caught up with both his girth and facial features, it hasn't crippled his voice. He's still got that classic hard rock and heavy metal sound: melodic and harmonious, yet enough whiskey and leather to make you think he could lose his voice at any time. Next to his vocal presentation, he's a master at arranging classic melodic heavy metal. Every song has an abundance of groove and melody, catchy and engaging riffs, licks, and refrains. And, Lawless has never forgotten what makes the best classic, keep it true, heavy metal: big, like gorilla gigantic size, guitar solos. Guitarist Doug Blair is on fire, given ample room to roam and wow on his fret board. Believe me when I say, the lead guitar solos kill. Wrap these things together and there's not a single bad or disappointing song here. You may have some question about the title track, Golgotha, the place of the illegal, but sacrificial crucifixion, of Jesus Christ. Lawless, raised in a religious home, has always drawn from that background in his songwriting. But there has been some suggestion that he has now become a Christian. Regardless, Golgotha is all large, fire and brimstone, arena ready and shattering, melodic heavy metal. Up the irons and rock on. Recommended.
W.A.S.P.'s Golgotha is all large, fire and brimstone, arena ready and shattering, melodic heavy metal. Up the irons and rock on. Recommended.
In the early Eighties, one of the first American metal bands that caught my interest was New York's Riot, founded by guitarist Mark Reale (1955-2012). Albums like Narita and Fire Down Under were classics of ... [ Read More ]