W.A.S.P. - Babylon
Hard Rock / Heavy Metal
9 songs (43'00)
Release year: 2009
Reviewed by Marty
Major event
With W.A.S.P.'s last album, Dominator, it seemed like Blackie Lawless and company were trying to distance themselves from the "rock opera" overtones of the previous Neon God series of albums. With a more 80's styled stripped down approach, the album was a big hit with the fans. Fresh off a tour that featured the entire Crimson Idol album performed at each show, Blackie has unleashed another nugget in the W.A.S.P. legacy that sees and even further digression back to the classic W.A.S.P. sound of the mid 80's with an album loosely based on the four horsemen of the apocalypse and how it relates to our everyday life, ideals and where we're at in this moment in human history.

Babylon has only 9 tracks and clocks in at just over 43 minutes. if you include 2 covers; one of Deep Purple's Burn and another of Chuck Berry's Promised Land, you really only get 7 new W.A.S.P. songs here. Fear not though as the new songs are some of the best Blackie has written in years with all the catchiness and huge choruses that made mid 80's W.A.S.P. material so great. Crazy starts off the album and has a very similar Wild Child like opening riff. This song is killer with a great catchy chorus. Things roll on very smoothly with Live To Die Another Day, another 80's style track with another very strong overall vocal performance and chorus by Blackie. The galloping riffs, huge killer drum sound and apocalyptic lyrics of Babylon's Burning brings the Headless Children/Crimson Idol era of W.A.S.P. to mind with things getting kicked up a few notches by a killer version of Deep Purple's Burn. They re-arrange the track a bit in editing out some of the keyboard solos but they absolutely nail this one! Into The Fire starts with a clean guitar intro with Blackie's voice but slowly builds in a hugely emotional and atmospheric track. The charging rhythms of Thunder Red gives this track Last Command like qualities with Seas Of Fire using a chunkier riffing style and thematic lead fills. Godless Run is yet another heart-wrenching power ballad that is highly emotionally charged by both Blackie's voice and the lead guitar work. The albums ends with a curious (but good) version of Chuck Berry's Promised Land; a track covered by Elvis at one time.

This is a rather curious album. On one hand, you have some of the best W.A.S.P. material in years yet it seems to have needed some "filler" in terms of 2 cover tunes to make it a decent length for an album. Either Blackie ran out of ideas or they were under pressure from the record company to get something out ASAP. I assume the latter to be true. On the plus side, the album is not long and overblown, is a great listen and contains some really great W.A.S.P. songs. Despite some of its shortcomings in the eyes of some people (i.e. length and inclusion of cover tunes), I really like this album a lot. The first 4 songs (including Burn) are absolutely smoking and have the sort of energy that Blackie hasn't quite been able to rekindle in years. The album weaves in and out from there yet with no substandard tracks at all. I'll take quality over quantity any day if the songs are this good.

Killing Songs :
Crazy, Live To Die Another Day, Babylon's Burning, Burn, Into The Fire and Seas Of Fire
Marty quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by W.A.S.P. that we have reviewed:
W.A.S.P. - Golgotha reviewed by Andy and quoted 84 / 100
W.A.S.P. - Dominator reviewed by Jeff and quoted 75 / 100
W.A.S.P. - Still Not Black Enough reviewed by Chris and quoted 94 / 100
W.A.S.P. - The Neon God Part II - The Demise reviewed by Jeff and quoted 72 / 100
W.A.S.P. - The Neon God Part I - The Rise reviewed by Jeff and quoted 86 / 100
To see all 10 reviews click here
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