Album Review : Babylon - W.A.S.P. 8*
The hardest sounding of the metal bands that arose from the glam metal scene that Motley Crue, RATT, Poison and Stryper also emerged from, W.A.S.P. have been around in one form or another since 1982. Babylon (released in 2009) is the 14th album from Blackie Lawless's men, and 27 years on from the band's beginning, it is one of the best albums they have produced to date.
The album is slightly short at only seven original songs plus two cover versions, but Blackie makes up for quantity with great quality, this is a prime cut of heavy metal steak, juicy and nicely aged. Blackie's vocals have softened a little with age, they don't quite possess that gravelly edge he started out with, but this isn't a bad thing, he handles the vocal duties well and the high pitched shrieks he used to let out have been replaced with a slightly more mellow, tuneful style.
The album features two covers, a completely pointless rumble through Deep Purple's Burn, and then a rather more entertaining take on Chuck Berry's Promised Land.
Of the new original songs, opening track Crazy is an instant W.A.S.P. classic, immediately catchy and was warmly appreciated at Hard Rock Hell last year. Babylon's Burning and Thunder Red are thumped out in great fashion, and don't panic about the lyrics, Blackie may have converted to Christianity and refuses to play to play the classic Fuck Like A Beast, but his lyrics are still steeped deep in the metal roots of fire, passion and destruction, it's all very manly.
A quarter century on then, Blackie a clean living Christian and who would have though that ? But with this current version of W.A.S.P. he has put out a really strong and entertaining metal album, good songs fill of fire, and dare I say it ? Brimstone. God bless ya' Blackie, it's great to have one of the metal stalwarts back on the top of their form.