W.A.S.P. – Still Not Black Enough (1995)

W.A.S.P. - Still Not Black Enough

W.A.S.P. – Still Not Black Enough (1995, Castle)

  1. Still Not Black Enough
  2. Somebody To Love
  3. Black Forever
  4. Scared To Death
  5. Goodbye America
  6. Keep Holding On
  7. Rock And Roll To Death
  8. Breathe
  9. I Can’t
  10. No Way Out Of Here

U.S. bonus tracks:

  • Skinwalker (replaces ‘Breathe’ from the European release)
  • One Tribe
  • Tie Your Mother Down
  • Whole Lotta Rosie

Musicians:
Blackie Lawless – Lead & Background Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Sitar, Piano, Organ & Synthesizers
Frankie Banali – Drums
Bob Kulick – Lead Guitar
Stet Howland – Percussion (on ‘Scared To Death’)
Mark Josephson – Electric Violin
Tracey Whitney – Background Vocals
K.C. Calloway – Background Vocals

Total Time (European) – 38:30
Total Time (U.S.) – 51:23

W.A.S.P. official website

By the end of 1989, W.A.S.P. as a band was all but a one man show, the Blackie Lawless show. After lead guitarist Chris Holmes left the band in the Summer of ’89, Blackie Lawless effectively began his solo career. Due to contractual obligations, THE CRIMSON IDOL (1992) was released under the W.A.S.P. moniker. That album was all Blackie with hired guns Frankie Banali (drummer-Quiet Riot) and Bob Kulick (guitarist) helping out. Fast forward to 1995, Lawless creates another solo album with Banali and Kulick, STILL NOT BLACK ENOUGH. Due to label and fan expectations, the album is released under the W.A.S.P. name also.

The album is solid but not in the traditional party-time L.A. vibe that the band was famous for. Blackie writes excellent songs and assembles very talented musicians to interpret his ideas but some of the songs, mostly the slower tracks, show Blackie’s introspective and conceptual style that was the basis of THE CRIMSON IDOL.

Many of the songs sound like vintage W.A.S.P. : ‘Still Not Black Enough’, ‘Black Forever’, ‘Goodbye America’, ‘Rock And Roll To Death’, and ‘Skinwalker’ (from the U.S. version). Any of these songs could have easily fit on albums like THE LAST COMMAND (1985), INSIDE THE ELECTRIC CIRCUS (1986), or THE HEADLESS CHILDREN (1989).

The slower songs sound a little out of place. ‘Scared To Death’ is a superb song, with a great arrangement and accompanying vocals from Tracey Whitney, but it just doesn’t have the W.A.S.P. feel. Same with ‘Keep Holding On’, cool ballad but you don’t really expect a love song from one of Hard Rock’s most notorious frontmen. It’s these songs, along with ‘I Can’t’, that point to the different direction Blackie was taking with his solo material.

My only major complaint is with the cover songs. This version of the Jefferson Airplane classic ‘Somebody To Love’ is plain awful. The European release would be that much better if it was dropped and replaced with ‘Skinwalker’ from the U.S. pressing. At least the European press only has one cover tune, the U.S. has three! Queen classic ‘Tie Your Mother Down’ is forgettable but this version of AC/DC’s ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ isn’t that bad, but how can you really screw up an AC/DC song?

Bottom Line:
So is it a W.A.S.P. album or a Blackie Lawless solo album? A little of both actually. Any material Blackie sings is immeadiately linked with W.A.S.P. and some of the old school vibe is included on half the album. It’s the other half of the album where Lawless creates a more emotional concept that doesn’t fit the band history. It’s a solid album but not a great album, I favor the European version due to the least amount of covers. Favorite songs here: ‘Still Not Black Enough’, ‘Black Forever’, ‘Scared To Death’, ‘Skinwalker’, and ‘Goodbye America’.

Saxon official press release for The Inner Sanctum

From Bravewords:

SPV has issued the following press release:

“The Big One Is Back!

SAXON, the iconic hard rock act which dominated the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal scene in the early 1980’s along with IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, MOTÖRHEAD, DIAMOND HEAD and DEF LEPPARD are returning for this one-off gig at Sheffield City Hall on January 26th with legendary promoter Harvey Goldsmith of THE WHO, Live 8 and Live Aid.

Saxon, whose title track of their album Denim And Leather was seen as an anthem of the early 1980s metal movement, are British through and through and are returning with the band’s full European production – including their legendary Eagle. Refreshed, re-charged and ready to rock, the mighty Saxon have a whole new sound and hunger after working with renowned producers Mark Wallis and David Ruffy of RAZORLIGHT, U2 and THE STRANGLERS.

Their brand new single, ‘If I Was You’ – about gun culture, is released on Steamhammer/SPV on January 20th and this will be closely followed by a celebrated 18th studio album, The Inner Sanctum (artwork pictured), released early in March in Germany and Europe and early April in the USA on Steamhammer/SPV.

Their new album offers powerful sounds and ambitioned lyrics about Eastern Revolutions, British Kings and Queens and the attitude of Great Warriors.

At the same time, lead vocalist Biff Byford displays an energy that’s almost physically perceptible. Byford rightly explains: “The Inner Sanctum is the most powerful album we’ve ever recorded. The following tour is the biggest tour the band has ever done in Europe!”

He also notes about their new single, “I wrote the lyrics for our new single based on gun and knife crime having seen so many tragic stories of somebody getting knifed to death for a mobile phone and three quid or some young mother caught in the crossfire between two idiots with guns. “If I was you and you were me, would you live your life differently?”

If that’s not enough, they are also going to mark the release of the new single on worldwide download, and their return to the British metal scene with an electrifying new Guinness World Record for ‘Air Guitar’ at Sheffield Wednesday Football Club on Saturday, January 20th.

Have you got what it takes to make history and join around 30,000 strong fans at Hillsborough Stadium to rock out with the mighty Saxon?

The Guinness World Record and gig will also be part of a one hour special Channel 4 TV programme called Harvey Goldsmith Presents, which is set to air in April as part of a new six part series.

Tickets for “Saxon Returns”, January 26th at Sheffield City Hall in Sheffield, England are £15.00 and are available from telephone number 0114 2789789 or via http://www.aloud.com .

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Exciting news! Saxon is in my Top 5 of favorite bands so anytime they release a new album, it’s big news here. Both SPV and SPVUSA did not have any updated information regarding this release, as I get more info, I will pass it along.

Reissue Report: Silent Force first two albums

Silent Force will be releasing their new album, WALK THE EARTH, February 16, 2007 on AFM Records. To coincide with the new album, AFM Records is reissuing the band’s first two albums: THE EMPIRE OF FUTURE (2000) and INFATUATOR (2001).

THE EMPIRE OF FUTURE reissue includes one bonus track: an acoustic version of the song ‘Saints And Sinners’ from the album. The INFATUATOR reissue will include a bonus video of the title track live.

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I have all three Silent Force albums, the missing one up top being WORLDS APART (2004) on Sanctuary, and they are all good Power Metal albums. The first two albums were on Massacre Records and it looks like the band retained the rights and is releasing them on their new label. As is the trend, we get bonus material, but one track each isn’t enough to get me to buy again.