Los Angeles shock rockers W.A.S.P. burst onto the scene in 1984 with what remains to this day one of the greatest debut albums in metal history. The self titled disc was raw, powerful and visceral. This, combined with their legendary live shows, seemed to make the band an overnight sensation.
In reality, the foursome were long-time veterans of the L.A. metal scene. Leader Blackie Lawless had once been Johnny Thunders’ replacement in the New York Dolls and later been a member of legendary underground bands Sister (which also included future W.A.S.P. guitarist Randy Piper) and London (also featuring future Motley Crue leader Nikki Sixx). Guitarist Chris Holmes had grown up with the Van Halen brothers in Pasadena and had even loaned Eddie Van Halen many of the guitars with which he was photographed for many of the early VH promo photos.
2015 has sucked in almost every way for me and for a lot of people that I know, too. You could say it was full of Trials and Tribulation (that’ll be funny AFTER you see the top of my list). Fortunately, we were gifted a litany of top-shelf metal albums to get us through it without losing our minds. The following are the top 20 metal records that I subjected my children to while driving them all over L.A. I have to admit that there was so much great stuff this year that I sort of cheated here by including a very extensive “honorable mentions” category for all of the other albums that might have made the list had the year ended when they came out. All of them are excellent efforts that I know I’ll be listening to for years to come.
Check out the list and let me know what you think in the comments below because if I know metalheads (and believe me, I do) you’ll all have some very strong opinions about your own likes and dislikes. The best thing about other people’s year-end “best of” list is that I always discover a few absolute gems that got past me during the year. Last year, you, the readers, even turned me on to Ne Obliviscaris and Solstafir, two amazing bands that I was unfamiliar with and whose albums should have been on my list. It is my hope that no matter what your opinion of my personal list is, that it will inspire you to check out some artists or records that you haven’t yet discovered. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your new favorite metal band contained herein.
Have a wonderful holiday season and rest up, because 2016 promises to be another pummeling year in extreme music. And be sure to stay tuned here at GoD because you know we’ll be doing our very best to keep you informed about all of it.
Legendary ’80s shock rock unit W.A.S.P. is set to return on October 9th with its fifteenth studio album Golgotha.
The record has been 6 years in the making during which time W.A.S.P. leader Blackie Lawless faced a number of serious health issues including a major injury resulting from a fall out of the back of a pickup truck onto a pile of bricks while working at his California ranch. The singer/guitarist faced down over 2 years of rehabilitation, developing and overcoming an addiction to Oxycodone along the way.
The old adage “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” certainly seems to have some bearing in Lawless’s case. The advance tracks from Golgotha would seem to indicate that W.A.S.P. is back in top form. The band has just premiered the lyric video for the track “Scream” and not only is it the strongest W.A.S.P. song in years, it may also be the coolest lyric video that I’ve ever seen.
Check out the lyric video for “Scream” here below.
With the ferocious opening track of their self-titled 1984 debut album, here is Los Angeles shock rock band W.A.S.P. performing “I Wanna Be Somebody.” Despite the band’s later forays into mainstream hair-metal and bogged-down concept albums, this record stands as one of my top ten all-time metal albums.
Watch the official video for “I Wanna Be Somebody” here below.