W.A.S.P. – Babylon

 

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In my late teens, early twenties, I discovered Wasp and just loved the rowdy, dirty, sexual innuendo of their earlier releases, and the hilarity of it all. The music was good too.

 

For the last ten years or so, I’ve seen them live about five times and bought all their albums. Excepting the fiasco of the Neon God, I’ve liked it all. So what could born again Blackie bring to the catalog of debauchery?

 

The overall theme of the album is fire and this is clearly reflected in the lyrics, artwork and in the choice of covers.

 

There’s two cover songs on here, the first is Burn, original by Deep Purple, and the second is Promised Land, originally by Chuck Berry. The Purple cover is well done, it has the flare of the original, but the sound of Wasp. Promised Land gives Blackie a chance to test his voice in an rockabilly style, which he does surprisingly well.

 

The songwriting and sound of the original material is in the same wane as their previous album, Dominator. One of the things I’ve always loved about Wasp is Blackies ability to use his vocals to carry the songs forward. It gives the music something extra, something special, and it saves some of the weaker riffs and songs.

 

Opener, Crazy, is just such a song, kind of tame, but Blackie saves the day with excellent vocals and a great chorus. My personal favorite is Live to Die Another Day, which rocks start to finish. Next song worth mentioning is Babylon’s Burning. Great melodies and chorus.

 

Godless Run, Sea of Fire and Thunder Red are all good songs, not great.

 

Blackie pulled it off, without feeling the need to do missionary work with his music, like some other born again for metal musicians do. I am satisfied and will keep this album close to my player.

 

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