(8/10) I grew up with bands like Mötley Crüe and "Shout at the Devil" is still one of the best Glam metal songs that has ever been written. And I must admit that there was a kind of felt sadness when the band announced their final world tour. They might have passed their peak, but especially the last record showed the guys revitalized. But let's see if this 'goodbye' is one that lasts forever.
Anyhow, Mötley Crüe musicians are, at least partly, busy in other bands. Bass player Nikki Sixx started Sixx:A.M. already in 2007 and the first track was done for the soundtrack for "The Heroin Diaries". Next to Sixx, it has been James Michael and DJ Ashba that signed being responsible for this first release. These three guys are still together under this header, something that makes sense, since it has been the names of the musicians that led to the band's name.
In the meantime we arrived in 2016 and Sixx:A.M. has worked on their next longplayer called "Prayers for the Damned (Vol. 1)". Not that this record can compensate for 'loosing' Mötley Crüe. Too different are the musical approaches. But the new album of this trio provides us with excellent modern rock music that is highly entertaining and covers a wide range of sounds. Each of the eleven tracks shows a bit of another angle of view on Sixx:A.M., with one song that sticks out. The opener "Rise", also chosen to be the first single, is an ultra cool rocker with a heavy guitar riff and a murderous groove. Together with catchy vocal lines this number is an 'all done right track'. This track stick to your mind as a wet spaghetti sticks to the wall. Next to these qualities the song also describes the power of standing together, for, like Sixx said, "rising up against some oppressive forces". A song with a message that is very well done.
The other ten chapters on the tracklist are good ones too. The title song is a mid pace one, a tune with a kind of a sad vibe, but on the other side also kept highly melodic. The more silent sounds are represented on "Prayers of the Damned (Vol.1)" as well. "Better Man" isn't really the ballad you might expect. But Sixx:A.M. builds this number on acoustic guitars, with a structure that builds up towards the chorus to just fall back into a reflecting verse afterwards.
"Belly of the Beast" has nothing to do with the Anthrax song, having the same title. Instead of, Sixx:A.M. did a song that belongs to the craziest ones on this longplayer. It is a more creepy number, that creates pure joy the first time you listen to it. But it also needs a few more rounds in your player to explore the real pleasure of this song. It's build on a dominant beat and it's the rhythm section that pushes especially this track to its best.
For keeping the flow exciting, the band placed with "Everything Went to Hell" a mighty riff rocker as the next song on the tracklist. This tone has the right punch and is a 4 minutes energizer that is far more to the point than the interlayer "Belly of the Beast".
Sixx:A.M. releases with "Prayers for the Damned (Vol.1)" their strongest album since they started almost a decade ago. This record has the potential to brings the guys even more on the agenda of rock fans since it combines a true heaviness, demanded by metal heads, with a melodic and dark rock expression, that is strong enough to get some radio airplay.
Good musicians, good band, good album, good times.
- You Have Come To The Right Place
- I'm Sick
- Prayers For The Damned
- Better Man
- Can't Stop
- When We Were Gods
- Belly Of The Beast
- Everything Went To Hell
- The Last Time (My Heart Will Ever Hit The Ground)
- Rise of the Melancholy Empire
Label: Eleven Seven Music / Warner ADA)
Genre: Modern Rock
Release Date EU: April 29th, 2016