Saturday Metal Review

WASP

Helldorado

CMC International Records

Released May 18, 1999

Frontman Blackie Lawless decided to return to his roots with this release, getting back to those (classic) vocal hooks, and catchy 80’s inspired heavy metal. The production was a bit rough during the demo stage, but with the label’s involvement – the studio spawned a cleaner production and truly harmonized vocals for this one. Joining Blackie in the studio was long time guitarist Chris Holmes, Mike Duda (current bassist) and Stet Howland (Temple of Brutality) on drums. The majority of the songs clearly steers the band’s direction towards a nostalgic trip down memory lane, often relying on offensive lyrics in tracks like “Don’t Cry (Just Suck)” and “Dirty Balls” to fuel the fire for the album’s output.

The album also goes for the jugular on tracks like “Helldordo” and “Can’t Die Tonight”, but digs deep into that nihilistic vein for “Damnation Angels”. I think ardent fans of the band were expecting a solid return to the glory days, but ultimately the experiment here was a mixed bag; especially when you take in account Blackie’s more simplistic approach to the songwriting – akin to say something like AC DC inspired rock.

Favorite Tracks: “High on Flames” and “Hot Rods To Hell”.

I’m giving this a solid 7 out of 10.

 

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