W.A.S.P. – The Neon God: Part 2 – The Demise


Release Date: September 28, 2004

User Review
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Well well, wishing well, Blackie Lawless’ part two of his life masterpiece, according to himself, has arrived. Part one was a great record, with its 14 tracks of conceptual rock opera music. Part two has 9 only, so you may ask if this is what he had left over from the first.

The question raised is valid. There are a few songs here that Blackie hasn’t written and recorded on previous albums, but just a few, “Never Say Die” being one of them. On the other hand – and that’s a big hand – he steals from himself in “Resurrector” (hence the title?), which sounds just like “Sister Sadie” from part one. Now, lots of people – and I mean lots – say that Blackie has never really taken a step forward since his first masterpiece of work, The Crimson Idol (1992). Although those evil tongues had a strong point, an argument can be made that stealing from yourself is ok – at least it made AC/DC the biggest band in the world at one point. But when you steal from songs you once stole from yourself, that’s where you cross the line. And Blackie crosses it with his second part of The Neon God-saga. The CD indeed has its highlights: Blackie is best when he heartbrokenly sings “Oh, all I need was someone to love me.” That voice and the acoustic guitar, as well as synth effect, is one of the most moving moments you’ll ever hear on a CD.

“The Demise” is another familiar one, with too many similarities to what you heard on part one. Four minutes of pure duplication, what’s the purpose? Next is “Clockwork Mary,” and Blackie doesn’t explore new ground here either. Not that you have to, but when you release a part two with less tracks, there should be more new substance to the music.

Partly to blame, is drummer Frankie Banali, who recently slammed Blackie in public because of his lack of credits in the album booklet. Dear Frankie, all your work with WASP sounds like the same drum tracks you recorded for The Headless Children and The Crimson Idol. I honestly think he was in the studio only once or twice with Blackie, at least it sounds like that. Don’t worry, you’ll all hear it’s him, because parts of the record have the same drum rolls WASP’s albums have had for the last 15 years. It’s really nothing to be upset about … or very proud. Banali should let current drummer Stet Howland keep the credits – that way, it would have sounded like Stet was inspired by him.

“Tear Down The Walls” has a seventies “Born To Be Wild” feel, while “Come Back To Black” reminds me of Ram Jam’s “Black Betty”. Kudos to Darrel Roberts though, he delivers WASP guitar solos the way they are meant to be throughout the whole CD.

“All My Life” is again Blackie at his best emotionally. It’s a short ballad-like piece where he shows that his voice and expressions are unique. This piece of art is worth the price of the CD alone. “Destinies To Come” is another unmistakable WASP-song, while “The Last Redemption” sums up the whole story, both in words and music.

Mister Lawless promised us a masterpiece — did he keep his word? There is no doubt that The Crimson Idol still will stand as his best conceptual release. If you make a single disc out of The Neon God-saga, you could come very close to matching it, but most parts would have to come from part one. And Blackie, if you want to steal more from yourself – how about you steal from your first record next time …


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