Rating:
9.0
W.A.S.P. - Babylon
12 October 2009


01. Crazy
02. Live To Die Another Day
03. Babylon's Burning
04. Burn [Deep Purple cover]
05. Into The Fire
06. Thunder Red
07. Seas Of Fire
08. Godless Run
09. Promised Land [Chuck Berry cover]


Almost 3 years ago I made my first attempt at writing reviews with W.A.S.P.'s The Last Command, proclaiming the reasons for them being a personal favourite. Since then we saw the release of Dominator, an album which almost completely killed any interest in the band for me. Let's be honest; it sucked. Blackie's normally eye-popping vocals seemed completely shot, the production was choppy, and the overall songwriting lacked any teeth - it basically came across as nothing more than a vehicle for Blackie Lawless' political views. After being asked to review the brand new release I noticed it was another themed album, and I really wasn't looking forward to probably having to tear apart what was once an all-time favourite band of mine (I was anticipating Dominator: Part 2). Good Lord, do I love being proved wrong.

In retrospect this has to be the best thing they have put out since The Crimson Idol. Any mistakes that had been made between 1992 and 2009 are rectified: songs that don't need to be held in context with the theme of the album to be enjoyable, thick production, aggressive riffs, and Blackie's voice being as powerful as ever.

Judging by the song titles in combination with the cover art, you can probably guess this album has a loose theme based around The Book Of Revelations. Destruction, the apocalypse, death - fun subjects, eh? Well, despite dealing with a theme that's far from being fun and lighthearted, W.A.S.P. Can still crank out heavy metal made for getting your stoke on, with tracks like "Live To Die Another Day" and a damn near orgasmic cover of Deep Purple's "Burn". Much like W.A.S.P.'s earlier work they manage to recreate their standard variation within an album; balancing the fun rockers with the ballads and epic tracks like "Babylon's Burning" and "Godless Run". Despite bouncing from style to style throughout the album, I have yet to come across a song that tempts me to hit the skip button.

There is really nothing wrong with Babylon whatsoever. If you never enjoyed W.A.S.P. in the first place, this is not a big change for the band. However, if you are part of the more rational part of the metal head population, ignore that hard-on growing in your pants, this is just the sound of W.A.S.P. reclaiming their rightful place once more.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: W.A.S.P.
Album: Babylon


 



Written on 04.11.2009 by
Doc Godin
Former EIC. Now just a reviewer guy.
More reviews by Doc Godin ››



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Raiden - 04.11.2009 at 03:43  
Yeah the cover art does look enticing. I didn't mind Dominator actually, but this album is on my this year's list of albums to definitely check out.
Metal Maiden - 04.11.2009 at 05:29  
I have yet to check this one out...I've only listened to the single, Crazy, and it's OK...But, I really liked Dominator, though I'm not very much of a WASP fan - songs like Take Me Up, The Burning Man and Heaven's Hung in Black really did the trick for me...I've only listened to a few of their records, but I actually don't like The Crimson Idol that much...maybe I should listen to it some more...
BudDa - 04.11.2009 at 07:35  
Babylon, is my first outing with this band. I have listened to it and for some reason I have failed to make an opinion about it. It hasn't yet caught on the way it should. Ama give it more time. Nice review Doc
Doc Godin - 04.11.2009 at 09:58  
So I take it I'm the only one who had a serious problem with Dominator then?
DayFly - 04.11.2009 at 09:58  
I was wondering whether the first reviewer would notice:

W.A.S.P. - Into The Fire (2009)
Michael Jackson - Give In To Me (1991)
Vocal melody in the chorus sounds pretty much the same, except that Lawless sings into Jacko's rest.

I like this album a great deal but don't quite understand your gripe with Dominator. Babylon's basically the same thing, only more rockish. I personally prefer Dominator over this one here (will only be able to say for sure in a month or two, though) but oh well, there's no accounting for taste.

EDIT:
Written by Doc Godin on 04.11.2009 at 09:58

So I take it I'm the only one who had a serious problem with Dominator then?

Yeah.
Lamahe - 04.11.2009 at 10:19  
I disagree with the review to some serious extent - certainly giving 8 for originality is something I don't really understand, but OK - everybody has the right for his own opinion
Doc Godin - 04.11.2009 at 10:21  
Written by Lamahe on 04.11.2009 at 10:19

I disagree with the review to some serious extent - certainly giving 8 for originality is something I don't really understand, but OK - everybody has the right for his own opinion

I wouldn't call it groundbreaking, while at the same time it's not a blatant rip-off of anything, it's got the signature WASP sound to it.
Pap - 04.11.2009 at 11:54  
I think that Dominator was a good album. Personally i think W.A.S.P. is the best band i have ever listened to. Babylon is a great album but i disagree that it's the best they have written since The crimson idol. Neon God pt I & II was the proof that Blackie still has inspiration so many years after the Crimson Idol masterpiece. Babylon has lyrical and aggressive parts in a perfectly harmonic combination. However to be objective Blackie has used his classic formula of songwritting but still there's nothing wrong to it. Isn't that what we would anticipate from a W.A.S.P. album? I totally agree with the comment of DayFly that Babylon is a heavier version of Dominator and i have to admit that i also observed the resemblence of Into the Fire with Michael Jackson's Give in to me. Despite the parts that i disagree the review of Doc Godin was good. I really enjoyed the part where he refered to Burn of Deep purple. I can't stand any 70's hard rock band (this doesn't mean that i don't respect their contribution to the evolution and creation of Heavy metal) and i have really adored this version of Burn.
Baz Anderson - 04.11.2009 at 15:09  
Well the first paragraph is a little redundant, but this has made me interested in checking the album out.
It'd be good to get some good new W.A.S.P. down my neck.
iceland_Norway - 04.11.2009 at 18:27  
I beloved every W.A.S.P. full Lenghts (letting only Neon God on the bookshelf cuz I didn't like it when I listened to).

Political Albums by W.A.S.P. are really beautiful.

unholy Terror, Dying for the World, Dominator are really beautiful and Damny strong.

Now we have a new argument: Apocalypse, Death, Bible. That's cuz Bush is gone away from Politic in USA.

I think He is believing for the Obama's Dream.

Burn replayed by W.A.S.P. could have kept out of the Album cuz I know he can play every songs written by Himself.

I will relisten to this new album at my friend's home here in Italy.
DayFly - 04.11.2009 at 18:37  
Are you kidding? Lawless hates Obama.
JohnDoe - 04.11.2009 at 22:08  
Well, I've just listened to the album and enjoyed it, except for the two covers. Blackie's vocals on Burn are really good, the guitar solo is poor IMO, it ruined the song for me. I think they had a lot of fun playing Chuck Berry's Promised Land but I think the song does not fit with the album atmosphere.

All the songs written by Blackie & co are great, but the two covers just didn't do it for me.
Derwood - 05.11.2009 at 06:39  
Meh, they still sound like an 80's hair band. I've never understood the respect these guys get.
enumaelis - 05.11.2009 at 07:20  
I dont agree, WASP is over since the beginning of the 90's for me, and this album is another uninspired piece of rock, in my opinion, of course.
Nighthowls - 05.11.2009 at 09:37  
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "hard on in your pants" man dude, badass review and I hope your words dont fall anything short of "The Headless Children"
Pap - 06.11.2009 at 12:00  
Written by Derwood on 05.11.2009 at 06:39

Meh, they still sound like an 80's hair band. I've never understood the respect these guys get.

Apparently you have no clue what WASP play after the decade of 80s. I don't understand why people should comment on everything!
Derwood - 06.11.2009 at 16:59  
Written by Pap on 06.11.2009 at 12:00

Apparently you have no clue what WASP play after the decade of 80s. I don't understand why people should comment on everything!


Apparently you have no clue what I have listened to. I've listened to every album they've put out and commented here after listening to Babylon. It still sounds like 80's hair metal. The only real difference is the quality of the production.

I don't comment out of ignorance and indignation, unlike some. I only comment on what I'm familiar with.
Lamahe - 07.11.2009 at 00:43  
Written by Doc Godin on 04.11.2009 at 10:21

Written by Lamahe on 04.11.2009 at 10:19

I disagree with the review to some serious extent - certainly giving 8 for originality is something I don't really understand, but OK - everybody has the right for his own opinion

I wouldn't call it groundbreaking, while at the same time it's not a blatant rip-off of anything, it's got the signature WASP sound to it.


I see your point, of course we can discuss the scope of marks - in my view, 8 is close to the genre-moving originality, which Babylon certainly doesn't achieve. Anyway, I think I understood your opinion well, it's just I don't share it.
Baz Anderson - 07.11.2009 at 00:50  
I only listened to it once so far, which may be unfair, but still I prefer "Kill, Fuck, Die". That's a great little album.
Doc Godin - 07.11.2009 at 01:00  
Written by Baz Anderson on 07.11.2009 at 00:50

I only listened to it once so far, which may be unfair, but still I prefer "Kill, Fuck, Die". That's a great little album.

I guess I enjoy it for the same reasons you enjoyed the newest Immortal so much; they don't try to do anything hugely different, but rather do a solid job at upholding their signature sound.

I haven't listened to too much off of KFD, but I wasn't too into the industrial influence a lot of that album had.
Baz Anderson - 07.11.2009 at 01:01  
Yeh, you're probably right. "All Shall Fall" could easily be my album of the year and it isn't even anything particularly new.
Pap - 07.11.2009 at 19:41  
Written by Derwood on 06.11.2009 at 16:59

Written by Pap on 06.11.2009 at 12:00

Apparently you have no clue what WASP play after the decade of 80s. I don't understand why people should comment on everything!


Apparently you have no clue what I have listened to. I've listened to every album they've put out and commented here after listening to Babylon. It still sounds like 80's hair metal. The only real difference is the quality of the production.

I don't comment out of ignorance and indignation, unlike some. I only comment on what I'm familiar with.

You mean that the sound of drums in Crimson idol or the aggression of the riffs in Dying for the world or the extreme sound of K.F.D. or.. or... sound like Inside the electric circus. But even if i try to persuade myself that you have any slight arrument about the resemblance of WASP 's albums, i can't ignore the fact that you are completely ignorant of hair or better glam metal music. So you allege that WASP, Ratt, Poison, Winger,Tesla, Bon Jovi and so on are exactly the same. Interesting! You may have forgotten to mention that they sound like Shakira too. It is obvious that you don't like WASP, that's of course ok but what is not ok is to underestimate a band which has keen supporters, a glorious history in heavy metal and two albums -WASP& The crimson Idol- which have received great ratings in many magazines worldwide and many people have voted these two among the best heavy metal albums ever. All in all this was also the only reason i wanted to answer to your first message, the fact that you said that WASP don't deserve respect.
DayFly - 07.11.2009 at 19:58  
Geez pap. Don't get so worked up on that topic. Derwood is entitled to his opinion and as long as he is civil about it everything's just fine even if one doesn't support it.
Derwood - 08.11.2009 at 05:21  
Written by Pap on 07.11.2009 at 19:41

You mean that the sound of drums in Crimson idol or the aggression of the riffs in Dying for the world or the extreme sound of K.F.D. or.. or... sound like Inside the electric circus. But even if i try to persuade myself that you have any slight arrument about the resemblance of WASP 's albums, i can't ignore the fact that you are completely ignorant of hair or better glam metal music. So you allege that WASP, Ratt, Poison, Winger,Tesla, Bon Jovi and so on are exactly the same. Interesting! You may have forgotten to mention that they sound like Shakira too. It is obvious that you don't like WASP, that's of course ok but what is not ok is to underestimate a band which has keen supporters, a glorious history in heavy metal and two albums -WASP& The crimson Idol- which have received great ratings in many magazines worldwide and many people have voted these two among the best heavy metal albums ever. All in all this was also the only reason i wanted to answer to your first message, the fact that you said that WASP don't deserve respect.


Apparently I touched a nerve. I'll address your last point first as there appears to be some misunderstanding.

I didn't mean to imply that WASP don't deserve any respect, but rather that I don't understand the high level of respect they command in the general metal world. They're competent musicians with a very good vocalist who across the spectrum of their career have generally played a style of metal that is often maligned, yet somehow that style gets overlooked when this band is considered.

The list of bands you threw out pretty much covers the quality spectrum when considering hair metal, except Bon Jovi who have never been any kind of metal but are hard rock. I was a teenager when that shit ruled the airwaves. I put WASP at the high end of that, along with Tesla, as opposed to Poison and Winger at the other end, with Ratt maybe one point higher.

What I don't understand is WASP being placed on the same level with bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden as so often seems to happen. They simply aren't in the same league.

Really, it's not like I compared them to Manowar.
Pap - 08.11.2009 at 15:35  
Written by Derwood on 08.11.2009 at 05:21

Written by Pap on 07.11.2009 at 19:41

You mean that the sound of drums in Crimson idol or the aggression of the riffs in Dying for the world or the extreme sound of K.F.D. or.. or... sound like Inside the electric circus. But even if i try to persuade myself that you have any slight arrument about the resemblance of WASP 's albums, i can't ignore the fact that you are completely ignorant of hair or better glam metal music. So you allege that WASP, Ratt, Poison, Winger,Tesla, Bon Jovi and so on are exactly the same. Interesting! You may have forgotten to mention that they sound like Shakira too. It is obvious that you don't like WASP, that's of course ok but what is not ok is to underestimate a band which has keen supporters, a glorious history in heavy metal and two albums -WASP& The crimson Idol- which have received great ratings in many magazines worldwide and many people have voted these two among the best heavy metal albums ever. All in all this was also the only reason i wanted to answer to your first message, the fact that you said that WASP don't deserve respect.


Apparently I touched a nerve. I'll address your last point first as there appears to be some misunderstanding.

I didn't mean to imply that WASP don't deserve any respect, but rather that I don't understand the high level of respect they command in the general metal world. They're competent musicians with a very good vocalist who across the spectrum of their career have generally played a style of metal that is often maligned, yet somehow that style gets overlooked when this band is considered.

The list of bands you threw out pretty much covers the quality spectrum when considering hair metal, except Bon Jovi who have never been any kind of metal but are hard rock. I was a teenager when that shit ruled the airwaves. I put WASP at the high end of that, along with Tesla, as opposed to Poison and Winger at the other end, with Ratt maybe one point higher.

What I don't understand is WASP being placed on the same level with bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden as so often seems to happen. They simply aren't in the same league.

Really, it's not like I compared them to Manowar.

I read your message carefully, i disagree with your view but that's not the point, every opinion deserves respect. I' m satisfied that you understood which was my initial motive to answer your comment. Anyway what counts is that we had an interesting kind of interaction
THE_BLACKANKRA@ - 12.11.2009 at 16:44  
Domintaor was not a bad album. and I like Babylon either
BudDa - 18.11.2009 at 17:47  
Another case of delayed reaction. Oh..this album is good..this album is fuckin GOOD!! Live to Die another Day is one of those songs that just insinuate themselves on u.(in a good way) plus I think is just 'anthem' material. Its something that I see my seed singing along to in the not so distant future.lol. The drum rolls in there are just awesome.

The other stand outs for me are the ballad-Godless Run, Seas of Fire and Crazy..I love this record!! I gotta check out other earlier WASP records
Valentin B - 21.01.2010 at 13:46  
Crazy is an incredible song, i can't imagine why Blackie wouldn't want to open concerts with this track..

edit: finally took the time to listen to this album, it seems it's really good, there are some bits which are quite unoriginal though like the breakdown in Seas of Fire sounds almost exactly like the main riff of Amon Amarth - Pursuit of Vikings, i'm sure that wasn't Blackie's intention but it's still quite a generic riff and i'm sure he could have done better.

or Godless Run sounding basically like a shorter updated version of Heaven's Hung in Black. there are also riffs that seem to repeat throughout some of the tracks but it's only possible they were meant as "leitmotifs" by Blackie.

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