Album review

W.A.S.P. : Unholy Terror

W.A.S.P. : Unholy TerrorWhen Blackie Lawless gets cerebral, you have two options. Buy into it or get the fuck out. I've always had a lot of time for Blackie. I think he gets a very raw deal from the press and is a little of a misunderstood, older and wiser icon in the Marilyn Manson vein. Similarly, when Blackie is in the mood for doing 'rawk 'n' rawl', you pretty much have the same options.

Unholy Terror finds Blackie and Co. occupying the now familiar territory explored in The Crimson Idol, and The Headless Children, and boy is he getting good at this. For a man that occasionally pumps out big dumb metal for backyard parties half the time, he can sure crank the intensity up when called for.
    From the openings of Let It Roar, Hate To Love Me and Loco-Motive Man, we come to the title track Unholy Terror; and this is where Blackie shows his true colours with a world vision of the truth. It comes from a lifetime of soul-dredging and a need to believe there is something better out there. The track is all the more poignant in light of the Towers disaster as Blackie discovers the truth about 'war in the name of god' - that being that no god has anything to do with it . . . just man. A great track - probably the best on the album, but not the high point. No, that comes for me in the form of the thunderous Who Slayed Baby Jane and the subsequent Evermore, which lends more than a nod in the direction of Forever Free.

There are extensive sleeve notes with the CD, which may be a little uncalled for - anyone who has stuck with Blackie this long, certainly knows his depths of passion for daring to go where few others do, but they are certainly an interesting read, giving perhaps some of the newer fans a glimpse into the heart of W.A.S.P.
    As a slight aside, it's good to see long time partner in crime Chris Holmes turning in some of the best work of his career - I rather think that there is only one man who can pull it out of him and Blackie as producer sits a lot easier with me now I've heard what he's capable of here. That's got to be one of the hardest jobs in the world - producing your own material.

So what do we have here? Basically a superior continuation of the Crimson and Children themes than you could ever hope for - if they boiled your blood, this is an absolute must for the collection. Of the bands that spawned the LA scene way back in the mists of time, W.A.S.P. are the only ones left with any integrity (and tunes come to that).
    I'll finish with this; If Blackie is man enough to stand up and tell it like it is, so will I: Unholy Terror could be the best album you haven't heard yet. Go find it now.

:: Sion Smith

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