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When I checked out the release date for this album, I was pretty much stunned. This was released in 2004? The music here sound's so much like 80's metal it's hard to believe! This album was my first W.A.S.P album. I have always tried to avoid W.A.S.P. as I thought they were hard rock/pop metal but after seeing Boris's reviews - I had to check them out and I first picked up this album and by my rating you can say I loved it, then I delved further into the band and now they easily make my top ten.
The concept is rugged and extremely stupid but at least it's a concept and a good try. The Crimson Idol had a better one. Blackie's voice is right at the centre here and a delight to hear. This guy is able to put in an unbelievable amount of emotion in his vocals and is right up there with metal's greatest vocalists. No offence to the rest of the band as they do great as well. The drumming's totally on the spot and the solos are great fun. The music here is 90's production, PURE 80's sound.
Every song on here is extremely catchy with great sing-along choruses. This album gives even a classic like The Crimson Idol a run for its money. Everything here right from the instrumental opener is brilliant and catchy as hell. It’s always a good idea to have an opening instrumental as it builds up the albums atmosphere and the listener's attention. It’s sort of a "Wow, those guitar's are great - wonder how the singer sounds" sensation. There are short interludes here such as Why Am I Here, Why Am I Nothing, Me the Devil and Someone to Love that are just here to co-ordinate with the concept.
All songs here are worth a listen. The best song on here is surely - Asylum 9 with its soaring chorus and Blackie's brilliant voice, that solo there is pure class - one of the best songs W.A.S.P. have ever made. Wishing Well is a short and extremely catchy number with good guitar harmonics. Sister Sadie is the longest song on the album and has a great chorus, Blackie's voice clearly shows its beauty here and some nice solos and riffs complement this very well. The Rise is just a short song that is probably just meant for the concept but is in no way an interlude. The Red Room of The Rising Sun has a great name and starts off really well and develops into a great, catchy number. What I'll Never Find is a short, extremely emotional ballad with great vocals by Blackie and an awesome solo with a very dark feel over it. X.T.C. Riders is a heavier, extremely 80's sounding number and The Running Man is catchy with some shredding solos. The closer The Raging Storm is very emotional with excellent guitar harmonics and great screams by Blackie with some well done softer parts meshed up with the heavy parts.
In conclusion, an awesome album that's very underrated and often pinned down as "A Crimson Idol Rip-off" but I think that isn't the case. The Crimson Idol was better and one of the best heavy metal records ever but this does hold up very well on its own and has its own fair share of excellent songs. Recommended to any heavy metal fan looking out for some great 80's metal and even pop metal/hard rock fans as this is catchy enough to supply their needs as well. You like Judas Priest? You'd love this, Do you like Bon Jovi? You may like this as well. Buy or download now!