W.A.S.P.: Golgotha

Kick-ass rock, with brains.

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More than 30 years on from their legendarily obnoxious debut album, W.A.S.P. have managed to retain a level of credibility that precious few of their glam-metal peers ever even aspired to, let alone achieved.

The truth is that mainman Blackie Lawless has always wanted to offer more than sex, drugs and exploding codpieces, but despite making his intentions plain on unsung gems like Dying For The World and Unholy Terror, his band remain most loved for their early works; a frustrating situation for an eccentric artist who has nearly always aimed for cerebral depth over lascivious dirt.

A logical continuation of the blistering hard rock sprawl of 2009’s Babylon, Golgotha is full of muscular riffing, soaring melodies and moments of Who-like bombast, with very little of the snot’n’spite that informed Blind In Texas and I Wanna Be Somebody, but Blackie’s determination to defy the past works in his favour throughout.

Pulsating with energy and concentrated fury, songs like Last Runaway and Fallen Under are the equal of anything in the W.A.S.P. catalogue, but lifted to an even higher level via the organic oomph of arrangements that are as timeless as they are timely.

Still kicking ass, then, but with more soul and intelligence than ever before.

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Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.