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W.A.S.P - 1992 Crimson Idol




ARTIST: W.A.S.P
ALBUM: The Crimson Idol
LABEL: Capitol
SERIAL: CDP 0777 7 99443 2 3
YEAR: 1992
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Jonathan Arron Steel (aka Blackie Lawless) - vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards * Stet Howland - drums * Frankie Banali - drums * Bob Kulick - guitars

TRACK LISTING:
Disc One:
01 The Titanic Overture * 02 The Invisble Boy * 03 Arena Of Pleasure * 04 Chainsaw Charlie * 05 The Gypsy Meets The Boy * 06 Doctor Rokter * 07 I Am One * 08 The Idol * 09 Hold On To My Heart * 10 The Great Misconceptions Of Me * 11 The Story Of Jonathan

Disc Two:
01 Phantoms In The Mirror * 02 The Eulogy * 03 When The Levee Breaks * 04 The Idol * 05 Hold On To My Heart * 06 I Am One (Live) * 07 Wild Child (Live) * 08 Chainsaw Charlie (Live) * 09 I Wanna Be Somebody (Live) * 10 The Invisible Boy (Live) * 11 The Real Me (Live) * 12 The Great Misconceptions Of Me (Live)

WEBLINKS: www.waspnation.com


Background
By 1992 W.A.S.P had pretty much self-destructed. The once famous heavier than most heavy metal bands had run out of ideas, overdone the drugs and was largely ignored by the new generation of 'Grunge' metal fans. 'The Crimson Idol' is more of a Blackie Lawless solo album. Something fitting of his personal epitaph. This is an autobiographical concept album, with Blackie taking on the lead, rhythm and bass guitars as well as keyboards and production. Compared to previous W.A.S.P offerings, this album has serious connotations, the songs are delivered with a mix of anger, sadness and frustration. A solid fast metal riff feast mixed with acoustic interludes and some hard 'in your face' lyrics make for a solid heavy metal album. Touching on Iron Maiden influences, melodic riffs, plenty of power drums and the Blackie Lawless vocals that still never let you forget that you're listening to a W.A.S.P album.


The Songs
A mix of fast and powerful tracks and some power rock ballads work their way through Blackie's sad life (sniff!), complete with Pink Floyd style interludes that are all described on the cover insert. Musically this is a high point for W.A.S.P in musical achievement, a strong metal album that for once has conviction as much as their first album had fresh energy and innovation. Not great but definitely good, though it's still very hard to take W.A.S.P seriously. Tracks like 'Chainsaw Charlie' just emphasise Blackie's sarcastic and comical view of life. Sadly this was not Blackie and co's swan song, as they've reformed and started producing more party trash music.


In Summary
This album will probably be overlooked by many, as it was when it was released. It was preceded by W.A.S.P's reputation, but those who are brave enough to have a look may be pleasantly surprised. This is the single CD Version, this album was also released as a 2 CD set. The second CD containing some B-sides and live tracks from W.A.S.P's Castle Donnington performance.


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Comments

#1 | george_the_jack on May 23 2009 16:33:20
This is probably the best ever concept album along with the mighty 'Operation Mindcrime' of Queensryche.A true masterpiece of the 'traditional' metal/Hard rock field.Blackie really outdid himself with this 'musical' show revealing his internal sensitivity and sharp mind. The album actually released in 1992 and the last track-chronicle, 'The Story Of Jonathan', added in the later reissue of 1998 as a bonus. In October 2007 WASP started a European tour at Principal Club Theater in Thessaloniki-Greece where I live. Blackie presented a delicious audiovisual show from the album. My friend Peter De Wint(Mystery, Affair etc) was responsible for sound engineering and the visual/sound effects.Great show.

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