The smell of 80s spandex returns…
Review by Martin Stanyer
Release date: 2 October 2015
Kicking off W.A.S.P.’s latest album Golgotha is the track ‘Scream’ and the rock legend that is Blackie Lawless’s rasp is on full form. There’s something very 80s about this album – the kick drum, the production, the sound of the guitars – and it’s apparent the band are not trying to break new ground. But then again, if it ain’t broke why fix it? Track two ‘Last Runaway’ is slightly better with a bit more bite and the song feels better crafted with a distinct energy captured in this song. Maybe because the lyrics mean something more to him – ‘Let’s runaway tonight I’m coming home’ – Blackie’s voice seems more confident. I could see a fantastic country version of this song being done (Ed: ye gods!); it’s classic story telling. This is a band that’s survived the 80s, the death of hair metal, its attempted revival (thanks Steel Panther), and is still going and I get the sense that this is Blackie’s way of saying, ‘I’m still here’.
One of the more gentle and passionate songs on the album, ‘Miss You’ is a haunting song with some delicate guitar work. You do get a sense this song is about someone who was much loved, maybe a woman that stamped all over Blackie’s blackened heart. ‘Eyes Of The Maker’ seems to be one of the fresher tracks on the album with a little bit of venom in the vocal and the guitars packing a punch with some classic W.A.S.P. riffs. ‘Hero Of The World’ is another favourite of mine, following track two with some great story telling. A great piece of music, it has a sense of destruction that I like. It’s dangerous and chaotic, and those vocals over that acoustic guitar and the double kick drum, it’s certainly an outstanding track. And so the album closes with the dramatic title track resembling Queen’s ‘The Show Must Go On’. For those that don’t know what Golgotha was, according to the Gospels, it’s the site immediately outside Jerusalem’s walls where Jesus was crucified and it’s interesting to hear how Blackie Lawless has approached this subject matter and brought it to light in song.
Golgotha is a good album. I feel like I’ve been dragged through all the seedy bars in Hollywood, hit a few drug dealers on the way, tried to crash my car and swapped leather trousers at least ten times. Hell, I even made it to the church! Golgotha is a journey. Not all of it is to my taste but certainly a journey worthy of taking for the nostalgia trip. There are tracks on this album that warrant repeat plays and there are some that are easily forgotten. The album does plod away at a very 80s metal pace – you can almost smell the spandex in the studio – and it’s fairly formulaic. For a band at it for 30+ years, you’d think they’d take a few more chances.
7 out of 10
- Last Runaway
- Miss You
- Fallen Under
- Slaves Of The New World Order
- Eyes Of My Maker
- Hero Of The World