Released in 2007 (Demolition Records)
02. Long, Long Way To Go
03. Take Me Up
04. The Burning Man
05. Heaven’s Hung In Black
06. Heaven’s Blessed
08. Heaven’s Hung In Black (Reprise)
09. Deal With The Devil
Blackie Lawless – lead vocals, guitar and keyboards
Doug Blair – lead guitar
Mike Duda – bass and vocals
Stet Howland – drums and vocals
Darrel Roberts – lead guitar (9)
Produced by Blackie Lawless.
It doesn’t seem to matter who Blackie Lawless has in his band these days, W.A.S.P. is no doubt his project and his vision. His latest release Dominator is another satisfying effort that takes the listener on a wild ride through the mind of someone that enjoys making the masses uncomfortable.
I realize that Blackie has his fair share of fans and enemies alike, but it you judge him simply by the music he has created over his long and storied career he has to rank up there with metal’s finest. His gruff vibrating voice has always been unique and his desire to outrage others almost unmatched. Dominator continues where W.A.S.P.‘s latest albums have ended off, sacrificing originality for satisfaction.
Dominator is a loosely based concept album, this time dealing with a powerful country talking down to a weaker one, inspired by the events in Iraq. It isn’t so much an anti-war album, instead it centers on the abuse of power. Can someone be proud of their country yet be embarrassed by its leaders at the same time? That is the question Blackie Lawless and company put forth.
It is an idea that has been put forward by others with more and more regularity. Conservatives will write the album off as Bush-bashing while Liberals will be chanting ‘we told you so’, both groups missing out on what really matters – the music. And songs such as “Mercy”, “Long, Long Way To Go” and “The Burning Man” shouldn’t be taken lightly. They are filled with a venom and angst that only Blackie Lawless could spew out, as he seems to have focused on his latest victim (the PMRC is finally off the hook).
The real gem here though is “Heaven’s Hung In Black”. It is a seven minute epic that asks what would happen if a dying soldier was told that Heaven was closed because there was no room left. It is one of the best songs I’ve heard all year as Blackie perfectly conveys the fear and confusion of the soldier, pleading “don’t you leave me to die”. It’s a song that really makes you think.
Thankfully I’m not very political, I see good and bad (mostly bad) in every political opinion, so the thoughts and ideas expressed on Dominator didn’t offend me at all. The album did make me think and the music contained within made me remember why W.A.S.P. has always been a personal favorite of mine.
Reviewed by Skid for Sleaze Roxx, January 2008.