Sixx:A.M. announce their fifth studio album, Vol 2 Prayers for the Blessed, out November 18th via Eleven Seven Music. Vol 2 was recorded and written the same time as Prayers for the Damned, which was released earlier in the year.
The band consist of rock royalty – guitarist DJ Ashba, the Guns and Roses slayer, along with James Michael as vocalist/production artist and the man who formed part of the biggest band in rock history, Mr Nikki Sixx. Sixx:A.M. formed in 2007 by Sixx himself so he can offer the masses an iconic rock sound.
This journey opens with “Barbarians” which has an apocalyptic vibe it. James Michael powers the lyrics with the words “We are all Barbarians…the end is coming soon, say a prayer for the chosen….” A track forsakes people born with a silver spoon in their mouth. With a middle finger outstretched to the world we live in, a place where the blessed are to be prayed for.
The great thing about bands like Sixx:A.M. is that they have the familiar closeness that many early rock bands had, such as Motley Crue. They have their differences like Guns and Roses and Crue, but when they put it together their music is just anthemic.
“Maybe It’s Time” has a gentle groove to it, a mesmerising ballad that calms the pace. The lyrics however are not. They’re deeply emotionally driven vocals which you should expect from these guys. The great thing about Sixx:A.M. is they talk a lot about how life was on the dark stuff, and how they got through it.
A break occurs as DJ Ashba shows off his guitar skills throughout “Catacombs”. After a minute or so we get back on the horse with “That’s Gonna Leave a Scar”, a heavier sound with deep lyrics. It leads straight to a cover of Harry Nillson’s ‘Without You’, which suits the style of this record. Altogether people…. “I can’t live…. If living is without you, I can’t live… I can’t give anymore…”. Phew, I’m not sure about you lot, but I had to get that outta my system.
Continuing with the slow style we are presented with the acoustic “Suffocate,” But, wait, it doesn’t stay acoustic as the electric riff comes in. Michael announces “I’m just a dreadful vampire sitting on the crumbling empire”, caressed vocals with DJ Ashba and Nikki Sixx guiding their instruments.
Finishing Prayers for the Blessed involves “Riot in My Head”, a more orchestral number than the rest. Focusing on powerful lyrics expressed with passion by Mr Michael announcing behind the heavy musical ensemble that “I might as well be dead”. This album is a story of torture and realising there’s light at the end of the tunnel. This is Sixx:A.M.’s “Tommy”.
Listening to Prayers for the Damned and now Prayers for the Blessed it’s easy to see how Nikki Sixx has been rejuvenated with his love for music. Music drifts us off to fantasy. Music is meditation in a world full of creation.