Alice Cooper - Along Came A Spider
Steamhammer/SPV
Hard Rock
11 songs (44'23)
Release year: 2008
Alice Cooper, Steamhammer/SPV
Reviewed by Marty
Major event
Alice Cooper fans have long been calling for another classic horror-themed concept album and there were rumours of a collaboration with veteran producer Bob Ezrin on an album to be called "Seven Deadly Sins" which has yet to see the light of day. Alice's latest album Along Came A Spider however, is based on a story he wrote a while back that was "filed away" for later use. In a bizarre and twisted tale, Alice takes on the persona of a serial killer who wraps his female victims in silk and then cuts off one of their legs to use in construction of his own 8-legged spider. The whole plan falls apart however when he falls in love with victim number 8. Along Came A Spider also features guest appearances by Ozzy, who co-wrote one of the songs as well as playing some harmonica and Slash, who adds his special guitar touch. Alice Cooper's last two albums The Eyes Of Alice Cooper and Dirty Diamonds saw a return to the "garage band" sound of earler albums like Love It To Death and School's Out. It also re-affirmed just how much the Detroit scene of the late 60's and, in particular bands like MC5 and Iggy and the Stooges have influenced Alice and his music through the years. With a much more simpler and almost dated production quality, fans now get their wish with a classic and twisted Alice Cooper tale that has the sound of earlier 70's albums yet with the brilliant and creepy horror imagery of the classic Welcome To My Nightmare.

During the intro to this album, we are told that the diary of "Spider" the serial killer in question, was found which describes in detail every aspect of the killings he was responsible for before launching into I Know Where You Live, a track that has riffs reminiscent of Is It My Body and the sneering vocal style of the School's Out album. Catchy as always, this track also uses tambourines and handclaps to further nail the 70's sound. Lots of other tracks have this "classic" early 70's Alice Cooper sound including (In Touch With) Your Feminine Side, I'm Hungry and The One That Got Away. Vengeance Is Mine ventures into Black Sabbath territory with booming wah flavored riffs and a great chorus section. The production is thicker and much stronger on this track, with a truly wicked guitar solo by Slash. An industrial flavour can be heard with tracks like Catch Me If You Can and Wake The Dead complete with some classic Yardbirds fuzz guitar. Wrapped In Silk shows that Alice still has the knack for witty and truly macabre lyrics and borrows a little from AC/DC with the opening riffs. The albums only ballad Killed By Love has a rather Beatles like quality with Alice nailing a very John Lennon inspired vocal. Salvation also has a Beatles flair with the melody lines and building, emotional qualities and the album finishes with I Am The Spider, a truly creepy and atmospheric track that "wraps up" the album so to speak.

I have to admit that this album is a definite "grower" as it didn't really grab me after the first listen. After several more, it really took shape as a great Alice Cooper album and with the kind of conceptual horror-based theme that has always found a home within his music. The very basic production takes it back to the early 70's with a few tracks even sounding like leftovers from those sessions. I think Alice Cooper fans will really like this as it puts him more in his rightful place; being the king of shock rock and ultimate rock and roll villain. Plans are underway for a North American tour next year to bring Along Came A Spider to the stage in all its glory. On very creepy side note, during the epilogue section of this album, we hear the serial killer talking to someone named "Steven" (ring a bell?) while sitting in his jail cell and stating that even though his diary had been found, he has been locked away for the past 28 years and couldn't have possibly committed those hideous murders.......chills!!!!

Killing Songs :
Vengeance Is Mine, Wrapped In Silk, Killed By Love and Salvation
Marty quoted 83 / 100
Other albums by Alice Cooper that we have reviewed:
Alice Cooper - Live At Montreux 2005 (DVD/CD) reviewed by Marty and quoted no quote
Alice Cooper - Dirty Diamonds reviewed by Marty and quoted 80 / 100
Alice Cooper - The Eyes Of Alice Cooper reviewed by Marty and quoted 84 / 100
Alice Cooper - DragonTown reviewed by Danny and quoted 40 / 100
Alice Cooper - Hey Stoopid reviewed by Chris and quoted 97 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
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