Written by: EW on 30/10/2009 11:07:40

Still rocking the world well into his 54th year, W.A.S.P. mainman and all-round legend Blackie Lawless brings forth the fourteenth studio album of the band millions of American Christians thought might be the devil incarnate in those naive days of the '80s. Their anthemic "Wild Child", released in 1985 on "The Last Command", may be one of my favourite songs ever but short of knowing this and their self-titled debut albums I can't admit to knowing much of their material from the 24 intervening years.

Sure, their set at Hellfest was great this past summer but do W.A.S.P. still have what it takes on record in 2009 when a quick bit of research leads to the wide held conclusions that the band haven't released a truly great album in close to 20 years? Well if "Babylon" isn't the album to break that duck then W.A.S.P. are never likely to produce another 'great' album as through 43 minutes Blackie and his merry troop show their years of experience in releasing a collection of classic hard-rocking metal of the kind that is destined always to be loved.

Even ardent fans of hard rock/heavy metal of this nature would struggle to argue that the genre has had it's low moments since being spawned seemingly millennia ago, but such is the sheer likability of the sound that even today serious enjoyment can still be derived from it's rich waters. Opening with "Crazy", which itself opens with exactly the same chords as "Wild Child" (how did Blackie not notice?!), the quality is remarkably high throughout until the needless cover of Chuck Berry's "Promised Land", even including the obligatory ballad ("Godless Run") which is usually the track when my goodwill is thrown out the window never to be seen again. The conviction in which “Godless Run” is executed shows it to be infinitely better than the ballads deployed frequently by today’s power metal fraternity and stands as a testament to the ongoing quality of Lawless’ voice, a vocal that has changed little over the years yet shows no sign of tiring or fading.

Continuing the theme of succeeding where most others fail, "Babylon's Burning" is simply an excellent heavy metal sing-along destined for the live environment, while "Into The Fire", a part-ballad part-rocker, will no doubt be air guitared to in time with it's strong Foreigner "Juke Box Hero" feel and 80’s glory and decadence. Perhaps it's good that I can't much compare this to recent W.A.S.P. material; I might just have the air of naivety required to digest "Babylon" for truly what its worth. That worth is without doubt an expertly written and played hard rocking album that anyone and everyone who is reading this should enjoy.


Download: Crazy, Babylon's Burning, Thunder Red
For The Fans Of: Saxon, Foreigner, Heavy Metal
Listen: Myspace

Release date 12.10.2009
Demolition Records
Provided by Target ApS

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