Review Summary: The best album Blackie Lawless and co. have put out since "The Crimson Idol".
W.A.S.P. has always been a fairly reliable band in terms of recording and releasing new material, dropping a new album every other or every third year. Unfortunately, albums since troika of "Inside The Electric Circus", "The Headless Children", and "The Crimson Idol" have been very scattershot and erratic in a desperate attempt to capture what made them good.
It then comes as a surprise that "Dying For the World", completed a year after the band's previous release ("Unholy Terror"), is the strongest W.A.S.P. release to come out after "The Crimson Idol". The previous four efforts seemed to be mostly on autopilot, running through the usual course of shock and schlock with the trademark sound from the band carrying through.
Here, though, the songs give away a mature and polished songwriting that wisely veers away from the deep and thoughtful content mined by such classics as "Animal (F**k Like a Beast)", "On Your Knees", "Don't Cry, Just Suck", and other W.A.S.P. classics. While the lyrics are generally aimed at the terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attacks (as made clear by Blackie's liner notes), they tend to avoid calling them out by name, a wise move that lets the songs avoid falling into the hole of "9/11 tribute songs". Other songs, like "Trail of Tears", look to the tragedy suffered by the Cherokee along the eponymous trail.
The sonic aesthetic here is predictable, but it remains shockingly strong throughout, with memorable riffs and sounds. None of the tracks are really throwaway or excessively weak, while the album's highlights ("My Wicked Heart", "Revengeance", "Trail of Tears") are easily among the best songs penned by the band. There's no new ground broken (which keeps this album away from "classic" status), but what it does go over sonically is done spectacularly.
Even if you've paid no attention since the circular-saw codpiece days of the band, "Dying For the World" is on par with the best material put out by Blackie Lawless and his minions. It's definitely worth a listen.