Thirty-three years, I don’t know how many albums and W.A.S.P. are back with another collection of rocking tunes which are unmistakably Blackie Lawless in nature. Golgotha doesn’t have the cohesive nature of The Crimson Idol, nor does it quite manage the tempo of the likes of Headless Children, but it’s still a good outing for a band who – thankfully – are still going after all this time.
Golgotha was recorded over a period of years and a few tracks are hangovers from the Idol days that didn’t make it onto that album. One of these, “Miss You” is one of the album’s highlights. Originally intended to conjure up the image of Jonathan kneeling at his brother’s grave, this would have been perfect on that album. As it is, it’s slightly out of place on this one, but none the less emotional for it. It’s a damn long track, but a lot of that is made up of soaring guitar solo.
Elsewhere on the album we have the usual collection of W.A.S.P.-ishness. Heavier tracks (“Shotgun”, “Slaves Of The New World Order”), creepy/emotional (“Eyes of my Maker”), and the more speedy and uplifting (“Last Runaway” – which is like a modern-day 70’s song). The title track is probably the most overtly religious song I’ve heard coming from the W.A.S.P. camp since Blackie found Jesus. Not a bad song, but – you know – I’d like another chance to hear “Animal”, given the choice.
There aren’t any real surprises for anyone who knows W.A.S.P. (and if you don’t where the hell have you been?), but it’s still an enjoyable 55 minutes or so. I personally preferred the grand musical style of Idol and I was weened onto the band by the superb Headless Children, but I found Golgotha ridiculously easy to get into. It’s not W.A.S.P.’s best, but that’s hardly a criticism given the strength of their back catalogue. Indeed, with each play through for this review I’ve found myself liking it more and more.
Blackie and the boys are on the road at the moment and I’m hoping to hear a couple of these tracks live on Friday. Well worth a listen, for old fans and new.
Golgotha is released on October 2nd through Napalm Records