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Yes to Sex, No to Violence, Blackie… - 88%

bayern, February 9th, 2018

Although Blackie Lawless’ cohort was the least commercially successful team from the muscular side (Quiet Riot, Motley Crue, Twisted Sister; early works) of US pop metal, they proved the most resilient and the most attractive one for the average metal fan; I had friends who were listening to thrash and death metal almost exclusively, but had, and still do, a very soft spot for W.A.S.P. I guess a major reason for that was their outrageous live shows as music-wise, the stupendous debut notwithstanding of course, they were hardly the most boisterous, angriest batch on the circuit save for Lawless’ highly passionate vociferous, barking vocals.

I have to admit I remained in the Crue/Sister camp due to these acts’ more consistent repertoire as W.A.S.P. really softened after the explosive first showing, and never managed to produce a gigantic hit from the ranks of “Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)”, for instance, one of my 20 top favourite songs of all times. On the other hand, they never released a really bad album during the 80’s, there were always bits and pieces of every affair that prompted repeated listens, but when they eventually peaked on the triumphant “The Crimson Idol”, it was a bit too late for the metal world to finally start paying more serious attention to the once underestimated shock rockers as new winds were blowing, sweeping away the classic metal laws to which the most Lawless of them all was holding onto steadfastly…

At least the results produced were definitely worth hearing although “Still Not Black Enough” was a considerable step bacк compared to the infernally serious, nearly progressive officiancy of its predecessor, the band opting for a return to the more stripped-down, rock-ish delivery from their classic efforts. That wasn’t going to cut it, though, not in the midst of the most gruesome for metal times. “Adapt or die”, or kill, or fuck in the best case scenario… that was the situation if an old timer wanted to stay afloat, and Lawless finally voted to obey…

“But how exactly?”, was the question; well, the title-track only too nicely describes the case with its overt industrialized flavour although, to be perfectly honest, except for the grating abrasive edge of the guitars everything else is vintage old school W.A.S.P., and this cut is a sure hit Blackie in perfect form, sounding pissed and emotional in equal dozes. The hits have just started, as a matter of fact, “Take the Addiction” being another stadium filler recalling “9.5.-N.A.S.T.Y.” from “Inside the Electric Circus”, catchy as fuck (not so much kill or die), lifting the mood big time although “My Tortured Eyes” goes the opposite direction being a brilliant poignant lyrical ballad, a staple for the band track followed by “KIllahead”, a most infectious modern metal roller-coaster with a rousing rock’n roll-ish vibe.

The listener would be completely sold for the band’s new cause after that last anthem, but the show isn’t over yet; in fact, it has just started and before you know it the whole of Tokyo is on fire with “Tokyo’s on Fire”, a spontaneous jump-arounder that partially abandons the industrial atmosphere, rocking in the good old school way to a great nostalgic effect. “Kill Your Pretty Face” is another ballad, but that’s totally forgiven this number soaked in ethereal Oriental atmosphere, performed in a sinister creepy fashion with epic accumulations in the second half. “Wicked Love” is the next in line supremely memorable heavy rocker that would have been a highlight on the debut even; and “U” is a minimalistic semi-balladic saga Lawless intent on touching the absorbing gravity of the Eternal album with more thought-out arrangements that also carry on on the final “The Horror”, a doom-laden progressive stomper the drama enhanced by serene passages, more Oriental tunes, and sudden more dynamic build-ups.

By no means the guys’ most seductive effort due to its sterile, mechanical at times character, this opus was a perfectly acceptable adaptation showing that immediately won them the privilege to support none other than Rammstein on the Germans’ first US tour… kidding of course, such a scenario never developed although it could have as Lawless and Co. captured the currents on the scene only too well here without losing their identity. It would take less than a minute for the fans to adjust to the innovations as the good old W.A.S.P. simply can’t be crossed off the list due to just a couple of noisier, louder chords. It’s quite inspiring to hear the classic heavy metal panorama delivering almost as well in these new, more artificial surroundings thanks to one of its undeservedly unrecognized representatives. Yes, Lawless had his moments of glory during this divisive period even if the crowd capacity couldn’t be compared to the one from the 80’s, and not only because there were no chainsaws and naked ladies populating the stage anymore...

And this was also the moment when the band literally re-invented themselves. Excluding the goofy unpretentious rockabilia “Helldorado”, a most unnecessary entry into the guys’ discography, the next instalments brought the old swagger to the fullest, especially the first two from the new millennium W.A.S.P. being one of the very few heavy metal warriors (the Danes Pretty Maids also come to mind) to have reached it without ever splitting up, not even for a month. Lawless’ integrity remains unstained all these years regardless of the diminishing returns from the last official release so far “Golgotha”; I’m not sure whether the re-mastering of “The Crimson Idol”, already a fact as we write, is a very good idea, but let’s hope the man knows what he’s doing… after all the “killing”, and “fucking”, and “dying” all these years we don’t want to mess up our finest hour, do we?

Industrialised WASP Black enough for you now? - 95%

Infinite_dreamer, November 30th, 2013

Strangely enough, this was the first WASP album I ever brought. I had taped copies of Headless Children and I think Inside the Electric Circus and had contemplated buying the Crimson Idol, but never had the time, money or motivation to actually do that. So, KFD, or Kill, Fuck, Die was the first one brought. And that was in the sale. But I'm glad that I got it!

Perhaps coming fresh to this, as it were, with no pre-conceived ideas of a long-time fan about what WASP "should" sound like was actually a good thing. I would imagine had I been a big fan and heard this buzzy industrialised guitar sound emitting out of the speakers, my first reaction would surely have been "what the fuck??!!"

I've got all the WASP albums now, and looking back at them, its fair to say that this album would have been a shock to the senses! That said, the previous album stated that it wasn't black enough and that he (Blackie) wanted it black forever. Mission well and truely fucking accomplished with this vicious fucker!!

The guitars sound a bit fuzzy and I guess industrial, but it suits the overall vibe of this album. The drumwork is excellent, not hyperblasting, but just seems to be a lot of it, if I can say that. The vocals are great and full of anger, possibly with some effects on them in places. Clearly Mr Lawless had a lot of personal shit going on at the time and this is reflected in the lyrics, the sound and the mood of this album. For example check out these lyrics from "U" ;

"Listen to me now
No words, I can say, can describe
How I hate your fucking face
And do you hear me now
You stole my soul with your lies
Your killing zone's where I lie
There you watched me die
You fuckin' suck"

Thats the sort of lyrics found on the album, but they suit the album sound to a T.

The songs themselves are relatively similar, up tempo, 4-5 minutes in length but with some quieter atmospheric sections in some. The final track is the longest, most epic sounding and to my mind the best WASP track ever. The Horror is a beast of a song, starting slowly, building up to powerful section about 3 minutes in before going back to the threatening pensive vocals, drums and bass with the occasional guitar line and then with the repeated refrain "Kill Fuck Die" for about one minute, which actually doesn't get annoying although it sounds it, before building to a wonderfully powerful crescendo, which for my money, could have gone on for another couple of minutes. The lyrics, I believe, are about
Apocalypse now, but I can't remember where I read this now and have to wonder if I did actually imagine it somehow!

So all in all an industrialised metal monster of an album with great songs. Not typical Wasp by any means, but brilliant nevertheless!

Black enough for you now Blackie?

Good songs drowned in an industrial nightmare! - 65%

Thorgrim666, August 3rd, 2012

Ah! The "terrific" 90's, the decade of innovation and controversy. Some hail it as one of the most creative moments in music, while others consider that the 90's almost killed every sign of good music. Due to those changing times, we also witnessed how most of our metal idols suffered from a deep midlife crisis in their struggle to remain relevant after all the years of excess and success during our beloved "decadent" decade.

Who will forget those "Risk", "Chameleon", "Load", "Jugulator", "Endorama", "Predator", "Generation Swine", "Remains", "Roots"... that made us feel betrayed by all the bands who gave us moments of joy during so many years? And obviously, W.A.S.P. also had their shameful moment, named "Kill. Fuck. Die". With the years, while some of those experimental albums proved to be decent efforts of self-recycling, others just remained as pathetic attempts to keep the attention of legions of fans and record labels that turned their backs to those who were once considered the elite of the music genre.

Where should we place "K.F.D."? Probably in-between them all, because although we can't consider it as a complete failure, it fails to reach the expectations created by the return of one of the last true rock stars to the band that gave him so many satisfactions during the '80s, Chris Holmes. The first impression after playing the album will be very negative if you're one of those who like W.A.S.P.'s classic sound. The guitars are terribly distorted with a very industrial feel, the drums sound triggered, and sometimes Blackie uses a quite annoying vocal harmonizer. It seems obvious that Blackie was very influenced by industrial music during this period. After the first seconds of shock, we may soon recognize the band's typical structures and vocals as the bridge and chorus of the title track erupt.

"Take the Addiction" starts with a very modern riff, but again when the vocals appear, we still perceive those elements that characterized W.A.S.P.'s sound during their early '90s output. "My Tortured Eyes" proves to be a quite dark and intense semi-ballad with very interesting melodies and vocals that make it one of the most interesting tracks in the album. As the songs pass by, you start realizing that the music base itself does not differ too much from what the band previously offered in "The Crimson Idol" and "Still Not Black Enough" or what they will do in, for example, "Dying for the World". The main change relies on the envelope. The production is totally influenced by industrial music and so are all the arrangements and layout. This makes me think that if they had recorded these same songs with the sound of "Unholy Terror" or the aforementioned "Dying for the World", "Kill. Fuck. Die" would probably be a more appreciated album by all the W.A.S.P. fans, but the so modern and industrial production does not let you enjoy the songs of the album as they probably deserve. I'd better go and play "The Last Command"...

Originally written for Ample Destruction 'zine.

Mean, Fucking, Album - 95%

Btula, December 19th, 2007

Nothing, absolutely nothing in these (almost) past three decades, has W.A.S.P ever disappointed me with a mediocre record and this album is not only under-rated but a true unique classic and no-one else but W.A.S.P could have had the balls and talent to turn this into the masterpiece that it truly is. Hey, this ain’t no “Crimson Idol” or “Headless Children” and it certainly wasn’t made to be a “Sad Wings of Destiny” either. Instead this is just W.A.S.P at their best -- Ever fresh and ever cool!

I can understand why other fans find the industrial sound somewhat annoying, with the down-tuned guitars, muffled vocals and not to mention the fact that the lyrics appear to have been written by a mentally disturbed murderous maniac. So, there’s no disrespect in dismissing this album on those grounds but if we look past the rancid and ugly veneer, you’ll find a pretty standard W.A.S.P fare that we’ve come to love.

Yes, the guitars sound a bit muffled and the industrial vibe in this record is most unexpected. However, the guitar solos are there and they shred! There might not be all that many to feast on, but when they’re thrown, they hit you in the face with a solid crunch leaving you with a bloody nose and longing for more. Welcome back Chris Holmes!

The drumming is superb! Seriously, this is where the album truly shines because it is that damn addictive and it seems to lead the music with different layers of rhythm and tempo on every song. You try pumping this evil little fucker on and you won’t find yourself getting tired from having it on continuous replay. I know I don't!

As for the raspy lead vocals, they really suit the vision that Blackie Lawless had with this album and there are songs that sound angrier than others, others sound somewhat perverted to say the least and to be able to elicit such strong emotion that is 100% real (as creepy as that might be) is a fantastic achievement and the songwriting is pure genius. Mind you… I feel the need to watch cartoons or hug my cat in an effort to divert the negative vibe put out by this album.

All in all this is one mean fucking album – Nicely balanced, addictive, heavy and yet passionate. Only W.A.S.P could have pulled this one out.

So there you have it folks,

A true gem!

Most controversial wasp album to date.. - 90%

Sinner, January 2nd, 2003

Wasp certainly managed to shock a lot of old-school fans when this album was initially released - perhaps not so much due to the actual song material or lyrics but mainly thanx to the production which has more or less industrial overtones at moments.

Having said that - I consider this album to be a masterpiece in the Wasp discography - after the pleasant, but unspectacular "Still Not Black Enough" it was rather time that Blackie tried something new - and that is especially what this release is.

"Kill Fuck Die" can be summed up in a couple of words - pure hate, agression, anger and desperation - that is what this album stands for. Certain songs like for example the titletrack and "Wicked Love" can be described as "classic" Wasp - but the real killers on the album are tracks like the long, plodding "Kill Your Pretty Face" and "The Horror" and agressive killers "Little Death" and "U" , or perhaps the semi-"ballad" "My Tortured Eyes".

A must have for any Wasp fan (or metal fan in general) as far as i'm concerned - just aproach it with an open mind (as far as the production and general tone of the album are concerned) and you won't be dissapointed...