Released 2009 (Demolition)
02. Live To Die Another Day
03. Babylon’s Burning
05. Into The Fire
06. Thunder Red
07. Seas Of Fire
08. Godless Run
09. Promised Land
Blackie Lawless – lead vocals, guitar and keyboards
Doug Blair – lead guitars
Mike Duda – bass and vocals
Mike Dupke – drums
Produced by Blackie Lawless. Engineered by Marc Moreau. Mixed and mastered by Logan Mader.
Babylon finally sees its U.S. release after being unveiled abroad a few weeks ago. Fortunately W.A.S.P. fans will be able to track Babylon at retailers rather than searching for import versions on the internet like they had to do with Dominator.
To say that Babylon is a continuation of where Dominator left off would be an understatement. Both albums are cut from the same cloth as they have similar production, song structures and deep, meaningful lyrics. Blackie Lawless has raised the bar since Helldorado, with the only missteps being the dreadful Neon God records. Blackie has also become more political and more outspoken as we saw during the last U.S. election. The man’s unafraid to lay it on the line even if his statements are unpopular.
The music on Babylon will take you back to The Last Command, The Headless Children and of course Dominator. The aforementioned classics were a bench mark in W.A.S.P.‘s career and a return which the fans have been asking for years. The band sounds tight, precise and road tested, despite the fact that Blackie is the only original member left. Blackie has always surrounded himself with stellar musicians; even if some of the albums since Chris Holmes‘ (second) departure have been duds, the playing on the records has been good.
Some of the standouts tracks on Babylon are the first radio single “Crazy” and “Babylon’s Burning”, where we hear Lawless plagiarize himself with excellent results. And there are two covers, usually meant as filler, but on Babylon they are part of the overall landscape of the album and fit brilliantly. The covers are Deep Purple‘s “Burn”, which Blackie arranges to fit his vocal and he handles the Glenn Hughes parts with ease. Then there’s Chuck Berry‘s “Promised Land” that is a barn burner that closes the album as we bear witness to Blackie tearing the classic apart.
In the end, Babylon is a consistent record that features 9 tracks – 7 originals and the 2 covers. Some might say that the album is too short, but I would rather have a consistent effort than additional filler tracks affecting the flow of the record. After a 25 year career that includes 14 albums W.A.S.P. keeps rolling. If Babylon is any indication there is plenty of gas left in Blackie Lawless‘ tank.
Reviewed by Ruben Mosqueda for Sleaze Roxx, November 2009.