WASPUnholy Terror (Metal-Is)

Once in a great while I need to suck down a few bad gulletfuls of Jack Daniel’s before writing, and this is one of those times. This is a WASP album: You can‘t catch me thinking when I ought to be drinking.

Some waste their time picking locks; some just kick the door down. No need to guess which type WASP’s Blackie Lawless is. The great thing about Lawless is that he‘ll kick down door after door (even the same door) and make equal noise every time. Like Unholy Terror. It must have been clear to Lawless that his basic tracks rocked. Then he looked back at 1999’s Helldorado, which, like all WASP‘s albums, rocked as brutally, and thought, ”How can I make this different?“ His answer was to make it huger.

Unholy Terror holds special rewards for those who treasure playing a new WASP CD loud. Having noticed that most recent metal recordings gorge on double kick drums, Lawless shrugged and added them to the opening ”Let It Roar“ and a bunch of other tunes, omitting with gentlemanly restraint to brag that Stet Howland’s and Frankie Banali‘s low-end augmentations actually make musical sense. He’s also multi-multi-tracked the works, flushing one of the main drawbacks of digital records, namely the way they get only louder when turned up, not bigger.

Well, the layered sound does blur the words, so you have to read the (annotated!) lyric sheet to learn that Lawless has been inspired to re-enter the religion-kids-violence sweepstakes that Marilyn Manson exploited and Blackie invented. Whatever gets the guy to strap on his ax and shred his hellion throat, says I. Even if most of the songs aren‘t much more than excuses to flay your carcass more ruthlessly than anybody else can, and to offer rampaging territory for the guitar devastations of soul mate Chris Holmes and guest Roy Z. (also a producer of Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford, among many others), they serve. And there are at least three that will go down in the WASP Hall of Flame: the dramaticdynamic ”Loco-Motive Man,“ the rumbling country-metal ballad ”Evermore“ and the chugging, howling dominator ”Charisma.“ Eeeeaaaagh!

Now I’m sweating Jack and ready to stick my head through a plate-glass window. Call it a review.

LA Weekly