W.A.S.P. The Neon God: Part 1-The Rise

Well, that title should tell you everything you need to know. In recent years I’ve come to realise that W.A.S.P. main man Blackie Lawless has one of the coolest voices in metal, and can craft some excellent melodic hard rock songs when he wants. So I was kind of excited to see a new W.A.S.P. disc, but all that excitement faded when I realised it was part one of Blackie’s latest rock opera/story/sleeping pill. But then my excitement came back when I saw Frankie Banali (you know, ex-Quiet Riot, and really a good drummer, so stop laughing) was playing on the album. Then the excitement dwindled again when I heard the treble-heavy production sound. Once I got to the songs themselves, I was happy when the rockers kicked in, giving us what we want: the classic W.A.S.P. sound, easily identifiable and fully enjoyable. But man, too much plot going on here, too many interludes, too much beating around the bush. I mean, fuck, does anyone enjoy concept albums anymore? No doubt, Blackie’s still got it in him, and once he exorcises his creative urges to make albums like this, it’ll be back to enjoying W.A.S.P. albums (but not necessarily admitting it out loud, of course). As for this, it’s about half enjoyable, half snoozin’ material. I applaud his desire to do something more than the usual, but, let’s face it, the usual works best sometimes. (Sanctuary)