W.A.S.P - Golgotha 3.5/5

W.A.S.P emerged from the cocoon like a chainsaw wielding buzzbomb of hard rocking hair metal.

Songs like ‘Fuck Like A Beast’ separated the band from the rest of the hairspray herd of the time. Blackie Lawless was an edgy, enigmatic frontman – the kind you were frightened to take your eyes off incase you missed him spontaneously combusting live on stage.

The 2016 version of Blackie Lawless is now very different to the swaggering, snarling frontman who led the W.A.S.P charge onto the 80s scene. For one, famously being a born again Christian mean he has long since dumped ‘Fuck Like A Beast’ from his live shows.

Nowadays his lyrics are more often than not a tribute to his faith, to salvation and biblical cities. A far cry from the old days when demons and girls were the staple song subjects.

But while Lawless is different, W.A.S.P prove with their most recent record they still pack the kind of punch they delivered in the 80s with the heavy weight ‘Golgotha.’

W.A.S.P returned with their 15th studio album, and their first in six years, with a record named after

Lawless was famously born again in terms of his faith and on this record it sounds like his band have been born again too as they roar back to glory with a thunderous slab of heavy hitting glam rock n’ roll.

First single Last Runaway is as close to a W.A.S.P by numbers tracks with all the hooks, tricks and grooves of their classics. It’s the one song I keep returning to on the record. Blackie sounds 30-years younger than his near 60-years on the track which wouldn’t be out of place on any W.A.S.P album in any old rocker’s CD rack.

With screeching guitar solo’s, an infectious groove which nests in your head and Lawless belting out the notes like a demonic rock upstart it is a track which begs to be checked out.

Another song worth checking out is the epic sounding title track which Lawless sings from the perspective of a man being hung on the cross next to Jesus.

‘Jesus I need you now, show me I'm lost somehow,’ and ‘the cross from where I hang’ are lyrics which leave an impact – especially when draped over an epic sound of contrasting guitars and a sonic wall of sound which rises like a towering wave.

W.A.S.P are back and have rarely, if ever, sounded better. And Lawless? All near-60-years of him, has never been in better form. Blessed with a voice which belies his age, he reaches every note he takes aim at and puts younger singers firmly in his shade.

With more than three decades of musical miles on the clock you could forgive W.A.S.P for slowing down – but with ‘Golgotha’ they have shown they still boast a mighty sting in the tail.