W.A.S.P. - HELLDORADO - CMC/ BMG
'It's as subtle as a hammer to the head', writes front man Blackie Lawless in the album's introduction and that just about sums up the whole experience. If Kill Fuck Die was the band's second debut, following a short hiatus, then new album Helldorado is the band's studio follow up or the equivalent to the decade old The Last Command. The wild, bestial attitude remains, yet like the original sophomore release the album boasts both quieter moments (Damnation Angels) and a fuller production. Resemblances abound, but the best one to emphasize is none other then the quality song writing and ability to over look the years gone by to compose such a vintage heavy metal record. Songs like Don't Cry (Just Suck) and Dirty Balls don't mince attitude and showcase where the band is at nowadays. That place is among true metal mongers and, as I recommended last year's live Double Live Assassins, I truly recommend Helldorado for fans of true heavy metal - nothing more and nothing less. I love to crank this up and notice that its on a major label in 1999 of all things. More than ample reasoning to support Lawless and crew... - Ali "The Metallian"
W.A.S.P. - DYING FOR THE WORLD - SANCTUARY
Here comes another good album from your favourite WASPs. Album opener Shadow Man is surprisingly sombre and sets the tone for the rest of the disc. The sound throughout is simply top-notch - with individual instruments coming across clearly and beautifully. Blackie's voice has an edge akin to the top look-out of Niagara Falls. My Wicked Heart is next and kicks off, unexpectedly, with an Iron Maiden arrangement before proceeding to become a typical W.A.S.P. song. W.A.S.P. is unchanging and heavy metal. In fact, the songs all sound like old favourites. "Nothing can change my wicked heart..." and thus the album continues. The departure of long-time and intermittent guitarist Chris Holmes hasn't affected the band. This is Blackie's band after all. Conversely it can be argued (correctly) that there is precious little on this album that is new or different from the band's past output. Personally I think, and most readers should agree, that rather a band ought to stay true to itself than prostitute itself for fame and money. As for the politics of 'W.A.S.P.', which I elevate beyond worth by even bringing up, American jingoism and ignorance are the source for most evil in this world (ask 500,000 murdered in Vietnam, twice that murdered by an Indonesian dictator Willie Clinton termed "our kind of a guy" and on and on)! Read a book Blackie and you will know how dropping an atomic bomb or two on innocent civilians is as "cowardly" as it will ever get. Enough said.