Hair Metal Mansion correspondent DAWN OSBOURNE checks in with the following:
There are certain albums you listen to because they contain great songs and certain albums you listen to because you just love the sound of the band. WASP have managed to create and maintain an unmistakable sound which heavy metal addicts love and crave and produce great songs too!
'Scream' the opener is a sister song to 'Crazy' from the last album and shares a similar structure; you might say it's Crazy part II with similar themes of illusory adulation/love and another effortless rock anthem packed with soaring guitar to raise the energy at the beginning of a show.
'Miss you' is an elergy packed full of emotion about despair and loss of a loved one. It is epic in quality, with the kind of guitar solos that have people transfixed and speechless at gigs. It segues into the equally epic 'Fallen Under' about the journey back to peace of mind.
'Last Runaway' is a song about being driven on a quest to save yourself by forces beyond your control against the backdrop of Blackie's personal experiences as a penniless teen on the streets seeking fame and as an adult following his very public transition to a born again Christian, something he shares with Alice Cooper along with their history of horror theatrics. Religion and horror are highly charged, dramatic subject matter entwined in history. As with Alice, the religious backdrop to Blackie's work does not detract at all from performance and art, in fact, the light helps to throw the dark into profile. 'Eyes of My Maker' is a great example of a song with a religious subject and a discussion of damnation and the quest for redemption familiar to human hearts everywhere, whether salvation is sought in god or other things such as rock and metal. It explains why that having undergone such a personal change of philosophy recently Blackie Lawless is capable of translating seamlessly to new albums that are stalwarts of the WASP stable as if nothing has happened and explains why this new WASP album can appeal to every metal fan religious or not. Passion is passion, in whatever form.
Blackie the man also may not have changed that much. Against a secular society it is undoubtedly rebellious to declare born again Christianity. It's not too far from the rebellion of donning chainsaw codpieces and covering yourself in blood, both are attention grabbing declarations and renegade in a modern society, both are a quest for identity and meaning. 'Golgotha' the final track draws parallels between personal doubt and quest for salvation before death and the cry for help Jesus made to God in the garden of Golgotha before his execution. Man is never too far from a contemplation of his own mortality, thoughts of whether he has used his time usefully on earth and whether in fact his life has been worth living. Rarely do metal albums tackle such deep subjects as an Arthur Miller play. If this were a novel critics would call it fine art. I suggest it is not too much of a stretch to do so.
Courtesy of Hair Metal Mansion, www.hairbangersradio.ning.com