W.A.S.P. - Still Not Black Enough review
|Album:||Still Not Black Enough|
01. Still Not Black Enough
02. Somebody To Love [Jefferson Airplane cover]
03. Black Forever
04. Scared To Death
05. Goodbye America
06. Keep Holding On
07. Rock And Roll To Death
09. I Can't
10. No Way Out Of Here
11. One Tribe [U.S. bonus]
12. Skinwalker [U.S. bonus]
13. Tie Your Mother Down [Queen cover] [U.S. bonus]
14. Whole Lotta Rosie [AC/DC cover] [U.S. bonus]
With largely the same lineup that produced the stellar Idol, W.A.S.P. released the similarly conceptual Still Not Black Enough to eager fans everywhere. Still Not Black Enough is not strictly a concept album, however, and much less a rock opera but the album is nevertheless based on the more keyboard-heavy moments of the Idol and deals with Lawless' personal demons. That is, until track 6 where a syrupy and wildly inferior version to "Hold on to My Heart" titled "Keep Holding On" absolutely kills the buzz. Thereafter, the listener has to wait through the dumbed down jock rock of "Rock and Roll to Death" (it fitted just fine on the compilation, though) and another "Hold on to My Heart" rewrite before the album starts to redeem itself.
The actual album minus the aforementioned three song blackout is a very solid and occasionally spectacular listen. The more prominent keyboards make the album seem even grander than the Idol (after all this is Lawless inner self and not some fictional rock star) but the material is convincing enough one can hardly mind. "Goodbye America" strongly reminds of "Chainsaw Charlie" in a good way and the band totally makes the Jefferson Airplane song "Somebody to Love" their own, in fact people unfamiliar with the original would hardly notice it is actually a cover. "Scared to Death" has some truly awesome singing, featuring tasteful female background and harmony vocals and tortured, high-pitched screams, but it's the lead single "Black Forever", sporting Lawless' meanest snarl since the infamous "Animal" formed into an infectious melody, where the band really outdoes itself. Lastly, the curious "I Can't" is the track where the album picks up again after three quick thrusts to the skip button. The song might be called a ballad, but it is much more an angry acoustic piece that erupts into a great metal break (it would be reused on "Clockwork Mary" for the second Neon God album).
Those who happen to own the American version get the excellent "Skinwalker" while also having to contend with an AC/DC and a Queen cover that make an already unbalanced album outright schizophrenic. In any case, the listener is probably best off omitting the unfitting songs (playlist, ripped CD or similar) which leaves him with still approximately half an hour of ambitious and well done heavy metal.
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