Hair Metal Mansion correspondent DAWN OSBOURNE checks in with the following:
This is the first part of a double album to be released by Sixx Am this year. More Muse than Motley Crue, Nikki is clearly not stuck in the past and not content to rest on his laurels. The name of the band is based on a combination of the main members last names, Sixx, Ashba and Michael and all have writing credits for the album. Crue were amazing, but we get the feeling Sixx's heart is much more in the future than the past and, now sober and taking an interest in documentation of social issues through photography, he's less party than purposeful these days.
Indeed opening track 'Rise' is a comment on the state of the world, change and revolution. It's a slightly gothic rock anthem with a touch of industrial for good measure. 'You have come to the right place' touches on the social inclusiveness for the disadvantaged (a la Warrior Soul's Losers) which has been a recurrent theme in Sixx's press comments of late. With a straight down the line rock bass line, it's pretty heavy yet also highly commercial. 'I'm Sick' has a slightly Crue like chorus and a traditional 80s style guitar solo, but the quieter introspective slightly emo content puts it firmly post 90s. As is, title track 'Prayer for the Damned' which carries the theme of broken humanity through, but also along with next track 'Better Man' aspires to inspire hope and develops themes of redemption with uplifting guitar work. 'Can't Stop' is more industrial and also has a slightly nu metal feel. If we did not know better we would have thought that 'When we were gods' were actually Muse the band and 'Belly of the Beast' has angelic style choral work from a similar genre. Shocking and direct our favorite track on the album was "Everything Went to Hell' :Still alternative sounding, but with a metal baseline and tribal drums, even this is startlingly different with a progressive metal style electronic keyboard sounding indulgence mid stream. 'The Last Time my heart will hit the ground)" with similar retro musical interludes is about adversity becoming the making of someone and so, overall the tone is positive, despite dark subject matter, culminating in final track 'Rise of the Melancholy Empire' about triumph over circumstance culminating in the mantra 'We will not be damned". Traumatic catharsis and purging the human soul, the story is a personal journey, an odyssey for the post modern.
No longer classic hair metal, combining influences from gothic, alternative metal and concepts and musical passages which owe more to prog than than the Sunset Strip, modern and eclectic, introspective yet inclusive, this is an interesting, challenging, relevant release, but it is probably not for those who just want to have a good time.
Courtesy of Hair Metal Mansion, www.hairbangersradio.ning.com