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Review: W.A.S.P. - Golgotha

Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2015
Duration: 55:54
Tracks: 9
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: November 7, 2015
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.71/5 (74.12%) (17 Votes)

After a 6-year hiatus since their last album, Babylon, W.A.S.P. comes back in style with Golgotha, 15th full-length (counting both parts of The Neon God separately, that is) in the band's career. The album starts in a usual, classic W.A.S.P. sound in "Scream", with crunchy vocal lines, a nice groovy riff and that rebel attitude so common in hard rock-oriented music. Follow-up "Last Runaway" keeps the hard rock approach and adds a 80's vibe in the guitar tunes, emulating the characteristic sound that the band become the most recognizable for. "Shotgun" is the third in the lineup but sounds like a misstep, not really going anywhere with its bland riffs, mediocre lyrics and uninspired, static performance. Clearly meant to work as a bridge to the next track, it ends up revealing itself a filler. As mentioned, this prepares the listener for the ballad of the album, "Miss You", which delivers an emotional effort with a strong chorus. Standing at just under eight minutes, this is not the usual slow-paced song that breaks tempo from the album, instead being a well-crafted and equally well-executed tune that only receives the ballad moniker because of its essence. Writing and performing ballads has always been a strong spot for Lawless, who excels in those situations. "Fallen Under" closes the first half of the album with the same energy as some of the previous songs: crunchy riffs, catchy vocals and groovy vibe. Without offering anything impressive, it blends in well with the approach taken so far.

This leads us to the better half of the album, headed by "Slaves of the New World Order". This is probably the best song Lawless has written in years, and by far the best one on the album. It has a perfect balance between heaviness and groove, and the songwriting is nothing short of great. It is not even absurd to say that, given the right context, this song could easily be featured in The Headless Children or even The Crimson Idol. "Eyes of my Maker" and "Hero of the World" are both well balanced, combining decent guitar lines with small glimpses of rawness, enough to shadow the first part of the album entirely. The title track closes the album in a high note, as it manages to capture the essence of the songs presented thus far and compile it into a well-crafted track, again displaying the more emotional side of Lawless.

Combining a tried-and-true formula with professionalism and inspiration, Lawless and company deliver another good piece with Golgotha, despite dragging through the songs particularly in the middle portion of the album. Longtime fans of the band should love this as much as any other W.A.S.P. album, while the casual listener may get skeptical in the first few spins, especially those with resistance to a more 80's-driven sound. Although far from flawless, the album has its moments and is a nice alternative to the more extreme forms of metal. Recommended.

More about W.A.S.P....
Review: Babylon (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: Golgotha (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Live... In the Raw (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: Still Not Black Enough (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: The Crimson Idol (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: The Headless Children (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: The Last Command (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: The Sting (reviewed by Pierre B├ęgin)
Review: Unholy Terror (reviewed by Christian Renner)
Review: W.A.S.P. (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Interview with Blackie Lawless on February 3, 2003 (Interviewed by Christian Marti)
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