Napalm Records [Release date 02.10.15]
This is the first new WASP album in 6 years following 2009’s ‘Babylon’ and some may ask, ‘why bother?’. In recent years the path for WASP has not run entirely smoothly including last year’s planned appearance at the Hard Rock Hell festival in Wales being cancelled at a fairly late date leaving many (including myself) disappointed.
With this new release and a full European jaunt planned in support, Blackie and co. are hoping to pull back some lost ground and show that they are still a world class rock act. Golgotha goes some way to doing that but as with WASP’s career in the last few years, it is not all plain sailing.
Things get off to a good start with ‘Scream’ which is an upbeat track, Blackie Lawless still sings his heart out in his own distinctive way with both the melodies and harmonies hitting the mark. For me the album then peaks early with ‘Last Runaway’. This was a pre release track which motors along on a great guitar riff provided by Lawless and Doug Blair, the latter also providing a tasty solo midway through.
Other highlights include the heartfelt ‘Miss You’ which features a great emotion filled vocal from Blackie and the album title track, ‘Golgotha’, which gradually builds to an excellent musical crescendo, again with impressive fret work from Doug Blair
The rest of the album however is typical WASP fare, which in itself is no bad thing, but it does all feel a bit too familiar and I found it ultimately forgettable despite repeated plays. What it will do though is appeal to the WASP faithful and at this stage of the band’s career perhaps that is enough.
The glory years of WASP may be long past but anyone who writes off the band as a spent force is far from the mark. Golgotha is the sound of a band who still have a place in the current rock world and whilst it may not attract a new generation of fans to the cause it should be enough to keep the die- hards happy. ***1/2
Review by David Wilson
Gig review (18 September 2015)
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