Review Summary: The energy of this album is what makes it as good a s it is.
I remember while at most listened to extreme music (mostly Thrash Metal) I picked this one up thinking it would probably just be another gay ***ing Glam Metal poser band with no musical talent whatsoever. I mean seriously, you look at the cover and there's four guys sitting down looking like filthy (in a bad way) prostitutes with some kind of leather, skull and low budget arrangement fetish in a poorly constructed fake cave, probably in some wannabe rock 'n' roll studio somewhere in wherever the ***. It just looks awful. They look awful. Their music is probably as much of value as the ridiculous cover and I bet they regret looking like that, now being 40 year old nobody's. That was exactly what I thought. Then I just had to check them out to be able to make more fun of them and got the album.
All I can say is I was terribly wrong and that I should be hanging by my ***ing balls, screaming, dying and crying for nobody to hear or care for thinking that.
Obviousness; I have loved W.A.S.P. ever since I heard this album and it is one of my favorite albums of all time. Nevertheless it has got some flaws, but they are overshadowed by the shear energy and rawness the album is constantly throwing to your face throughout. The production is arranged in a way that makes it sound like the album was recorded in that budget cavern (sorry guys, that cover is still ridiculous) as it's got elements of plain raw and uncomfortable energy with added reverb to make it sound really big. The energy of the album is incredible and the musicianship is superb by Heavy Metal standards. It's not just focusing on guitarwork, drums, bass, vocals or whatever - Blackie Lawless wrote the songs probably thinking to use every instruments to its full potential, including his awesome raw voice, to serve the song as well as possible. He is a perfectionist and it's very audible in the arrangement of the songs. The guitar locks with the drums which locks with the bass that is covered by thought through vocals and raw vocal harmonies to fit with the instruments. On top of everything there's some great solo's that are perhaps not the most technical, but they fit really well.
The classics are very separable from the fillers though. Even though Blackie is a perfectionist, he has filled the album with three not so good tracks that just doesn't fit in with the rest of the album. These are School Daze, B.A.D. and The Flame. These tracks are pretty famous and liked by many, but to me they are just too goddamn slow and are lacking the most important element of the album: energy. Sleeping In The Fire is slow and doesn't have much of the raw energy of tracks like I Wanna Be Somebody, On Your Knees, Show No Mercy or Hellion, but it's just quite simply better written than the "fillers". Same Goes with Tormentor, but this one is dripping with energy in a different way because it's more aggressive than the other tracks and is heavy as a ***ing 1000 pound sledgehammer dropped on your balls.
All in all the album is one of the most energetic album I've ever heard and that's what makes the album as good as it it. On top of that there's some excellent musicianship. The three fillers is unfortunately what takes away what could be considered a classic album, nevertheless check it out and love it, whether you are a Glam rocker, thrasher or whatever. I did and I've not been sorry to say the least.
- I Wanna Be Somebody
- On Your Knees
- The Torture Never Stops
- Show No Mercy (if you own the reissue)