Review Summary: A solid return to form.
Following the release of the insanely dark Kill, ***, Die album it was, once again, anyone’s guess as to which direction Blackie and the boys would take next. One listen to the opening riff of the title track should give you the answer straight away, this is a return to the band’s sex-driven, alcohol-consuming, cocaine-snorting sound of yore, a sound that the band had abandoned for over a decade. Not since 1986’s Inside The Electric Circus had the band sounded so determined to offend and raise hell, the boys were back and back in style. With song titles like Don’t Cry (Just Suck) and Cocaine Cowboys, this is pure bad boy rock n’ roll of the highest order and perhaps what fans had expected following the return of original guitarist and notorious partier, Chris Holmes over 2 years prior to this.
W.A.S.P. in 1999 was:
Blackie Lawless – vocals, guitars
Chris Holmes – guitars
Mike Duda – bass
Stet Howland – drums
While the song writing on this album may not be as strong as it was 15 years ago, Blackie certainly hasn’t lost the ability to write outrageously over the top metal anthems that never fail to excite some and undoubtedly offend others. Don’t Cry (Just Suck) with it’s smutty innuendos and cringe-worthy lyrics like “C’mon and do me until I’m red, like the dick on a dog!”
, could have easily fitted onto either of the bands first three albums as could Dirty Balls, which is preceded by the much more melodic Damnation Angels.
Damnation Angels could be seen as an attempt to be taken seriously for a moment were it not for the last 30 seconds, which serve as a spoken word intro to Dirty Balls:
“You know it’s a bitch when you go to take a piss and your dick smells like bad pussy…”
Yes Blackie it is.
Despite being considerably tamer than it’s predecessor, Helldorado has a much heavier overall sound than the likes of the band's debut or follow up album The Last Command, which may be due in part to Blackie’s production coupled with his altogether much harsher scream, which he probably found during the recording process of Kill, ***, Die. This doesn’t, however, detract from the album’s hooks and although the album’s second half isn’t quite as memorable as it’s first half (bar the brilliant live-for-the-moment anthem, Can’t Die Tonight), this is still a solid return to form and an album that must have provided relief for fans who were disillusioned by the darker industrial-tinged sound explored on K.F.D.
One of the albums downfalls however, is the similarity between several of the riffs, particularly that of Don’t Cry (Just Suck) when compared to that of Dirty Balls, but when an album rocks as hard as this does that really doesn’t matter too much, W.A.S.P. have never been about complexity or variety and it’s just as well because this is what they do best.
Don’t Cry (Just Suck)
Can’t Die Tonight