It is always a pleasure to review a record which belongs to a band with a long history and discography behind it, but for the 80’s superstars W.A.S.P. and Blackie Lawless, the emotions are mixed. The band has just released their fifteen record, titled ‘Golgotha’, right after the releases of record that earned mixed reviews and numerous of shows where the band got criticized negatively for their, on stage, performance.
Knowing that Blackie has turned his back to the past and embraced christianity, I was aware of what to expect as far as the lyrics are concerned. The record seems to appeal in an 80’s rock style, with a vintage rock sound of edgy guitars, reverbs and rhythmical solos. ‘Golgotha’ sounds more explosive than its forerunner, more dynamic, meddling lovely solos and riffs together.
The first three songs seem to be great, as we have some solid vintage rock music, with fast paced guitars and powerful vocals. ‘Shotgun’ kind of reminds ACDC, as far as the intro riff is concerned, and the guitars in it generally, while the first two scores, ‘Scream’ and ‘The Last Runaway’ remind me a lot of Wasp’s old self. However, as many have noticed, the record after ‘Shotgun’ seems to lose its ‘spirit’. A ballad, neither bad nor good enough to maintain the attention of the listener, follows ‘Shotgun’ and then each track of the record seems not to reach the standards the band have set with the opening songs.
Both ‘Falling Under’ and ‘Slaves of the New Order’ open with melodic, low-dynamic openings, to continue into a mass of mediocre riffs and cliché lyrics. Whenever Blackie tries to mix up spirituality with rock music, the outcome just is not persuading the listener to keep on listening and listening to it. Even with catchy riffs and vintage sound, Wasp can’t maintain their appeal and they repeat their ideas within many tracks, just as they would have nothing more to offer. However, fans that reminisce old-school rock or the eighties may find pleasure into ‘Golgotha’, mainly because it is created to appeal into Wasp’s fanbase rather than to gain newcomers or the audience of modern rock music scene.
It is easy to notice the difference between ‘Golgotha’ and ‘Scream’ for instance and the appeal of the first track is nothing compared to our second example. When Wasp tries to be fast, powerful, nasty or get dirty, the band performs well. Whenever things get more serious, the band gets striped out of their uniqueness, which happens to be the reason why the record is, in overall, extremely unbalanced.
I would recommend ‘Golgotha’ to anyone who digs into hair metal or vintage sounding metal. Despite that, ‘Golgotha’ will be another record lost in the vortex of time, not out-dated but without noticeable essence to offer.
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