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W.A.S.P.'s self-titled debut album is one of the ultimate essentials for any fan of traditional heavy metal. Right from the start they amazed the fans and shocked the record labels with their first and hugely successful single Animal (Fuck Like A Beast).
With this album, the band established themselves as a leading force in heavy metal. Vocalist Blackie Lawless has a very distinguishable voice. It's raw, dirty and mean, and totally works with the band. On this album, he also handles the bass duties. It mostly kinda gets drowned in the mix, but when it does appear (like on the verses of L.O.V.E. Machine- groovy shit!) it is awesome.
The riffwork on this album complements Blackie's vocals. It's raw, it's heavy, and it's intense. The drumming is pretty standard for this kind of music, and while not anything spectacular it just works very well.
The remastered version has an entirety of thirteen songs. There is the awesome speed metal track called Show No Mercy (which in fact is better than many of the albums original songs!) and a cover of Paint it Black, which also works very well. Also, we have the classic Animal (Fuck Like A Beast), which due to the boring Capitol Records people didn't make it on the original issue.
Here, however, it's received it's rightful place as the album's opener, and kicks the album off with raw riffage right away. From there on, it's all great stuff.
And while the spirit of metal, beer and sex and whatnot shines brightly throughout the entire album, there is also great variation found in the songwriting. There are the midpaced Fuck Like A Beast, B.A.D. and Tormentor, and then there is speed metal to be found, like I Wanna Be Somebody, Show No Mercy and On Your Knees, and then there is also a ballad called Sleeping (In The Fire), which they totally nail perfectly, with wicked soloing, great acoustic riffs and a hugely powerful chorus. All the songs have a unique style and feeling, yet maintains the same spirit and energy throughout, regardless of pace and songwriting style.
Most of the stuff on here is downright awesome, but there is one song that totally sticks out- Hellion. The best Wasp song ever. With awesome, intense speed metal riffs, memorable singalong vocal lines, hellraising lyrics and a totally crazy solo, this is a total classic and one of the best songs of heavy fucking metal, period. Other notable highlights are Fuck Like A Beast, the classic anthem I Wanna Be Somebody, School Daze and Sleeping (In The Fire), but it's all pretty damn good.
An essential album for any fan of traditional heavy metal, just like the four albums that followed it. Except maybe for Inside The Electric Circus, but that's another review...