As far as influences go, Blackie Lawless has taken a whole new direction with the writing of Golgotha. He has re-found his faith in God after many tough years and states that lyrically everything on the new album- W.A.S.P.’s 15th studio album- is written with his faith in mind, with the album title being influenced of course by the place where Jesus was crucified outside Jerusalem’s walls. This album has been 6 years in the making due to various circumstances but Blackie states: “It gave us the time to actually reflect on the music in a way we never really had before.” As a huge W.A.S.P. fan myself I hope current fans and new listeners alike can approach this album with an open mind regardless of how they feel about Blackie’s re-discovered faith as it certainly does not disappoint.
Opening track ‘Scream’ is an up-tempo, catchy number that immediately grabs the listener’s attention. Doug Blair’s soaring guitar solo and some outstanding lead and backing vocals make for a great start to the album. The first single to be taken from Golgotha, ‘Last Runaway’, is also fast paced and packed with feel-good energy with stomping bass line from Mike Duda, and is reminiscent of some big 80s rock tunes. It’s easy to imagine this song being played live to a great audience response.
The biggest track on the album in many ways is the epic ‘Miss You’ which was originally written for The Crimson Idol. Coming in at just under 8 minutes long, ‘Miss You’ has some heart wrenching lyrics and vocals to match, with Blackie singing about love and loss. This is obviously a very personal song and it is incredibly moving to listen to. It’s easy to tell that it is from the Crimson Idol era but at the same time it really fits in well with the rest of this latest album.
‘Fallen Under’ is another emotionally charged ballad which appears to be about the experience of being saved, with the opening lines: “Show me wonders, take me under/Your wings open wide.” Golgotha is not all about the ballads though as ‘Slaves of the New World Order’ once again really picks up the pace and intensity. This is another long one, coming in at 7:45, but is so easy to get caught up in that you don’t even notice.
The title track closes the album in style with more Crimson Idol-esque heart wrenching vocals and guitar riffs. Blackie seems to reach deep into his heart and soul for the whole album and in particular this closing number which, as the title would suggest, is written about Jesus’ sacrifice and having faith.
Golgotha has echoes of past W.A.S.P. albums but also has a style and direction all its own. This isn’t a concept album as such but there is the common theme running throughout of being rescued and lifted up from a dark place. The vocal work from Doug Blair and Mike Duda compliments Blackie’s no-holds-barred lead vocals really well throughout and overall I would say it will probably go down as a classic W.A.S.P. album.
Review: Rachel McMurdo
- Last Runaway
- Miss You
- Fallen Under
- Slaves of the New World Order
- Eyes of My Maker
- Hero of the World