W.A.S.P. – Dominator (reissue 2015)

W.A.S.P. - Dominator (reissue 2015) full

Alongside W.A.S.P. very good new album ‘Golgotha’ (already presented as advance here), their German label has reissued the band’s 2 previous albums in a very nice coloured vinyl LP format.
The strong “Dominator” is one of them.

Despite being well known for their days on the Sunset Strip, W.A.S.P. are one of the best kept secrets in heavy metal. Everyone knows about the flaming codpieces and 3-minute pop metal of their early output, but many never heard their material after the late Eighties, where W.A.S.P. have been issuing a constant string of high-quality, straight-faced – and often quite dark and poignant – metal albums.
Other than the experimental ‘Kill, Fuck, Die’ from 1997 and the throwback ‘Helldorado’ which followed in 1999, vocalist, songwriter and all-round superstar Blackie Lawless and his various associates have been putting out assured CDs for years now, with social and religious commentary replacing the double entendres on the lyrics sheet.

Like most recent W.A.S.P. releases, “Dominator” is remarkably consistent, and thankfully on this occasion the songs are consistently excellent. There is nothing that could be described as throwaway or misjudged here. Some of the songs – 2 in particular – stand above the rest, but Lawless has crafted 8 (or 9) real winners for his fans with ‘Dominator’.
The strongest point of this incredibly balanced record comes in the middle, starting with “The Burning Man” – a soaring, venomous number that is dragged along by a quite great lead guitar part from Doug Blair – while Lawless spits some none-too-subtle lyrics about the U.S. administration.

Following this is “Heaven’s Hung in Black” – not only the best song on ‘Dominator’, but also one of the best Lawless has ever written, and the most breathtakingly beautiful power ballad I have heard in some time.
Blackie reprises “Heaven’s Hung in Black” on the track 8, which feels like a very natural closer to the album leaving us with a profound sense of sobriety and closure.
But he then hits us harder than a shot of Dallas whisky with a fucking balls-out rocker called “Deal With The Devil”, a five minute asskickery that makes you wanna bang your head all the way – like any good W.A.S.P. rocker should.

W.A.S.P. - Dominator (reissue 2015) inside

“Dominator” is a clear representative of the reborn W.A.S.P. sound and at the same time standing proudly on its own as a timeless true metal offering. A tremendous, killer LP.
W.A.S.P. are an institution, and this effort stands proud as one of their best.

1 – Mercy
2 – Long, Long Way To Go
3 – Take Me Up
4 – The Burning Man
5 – Heaven’s Hung In Black
6 – Heaven’s Blessed
7 – Teacher
8 – Heaven’s Hung In Black (Reprise)
9 – Deal With The Devil

Blackie Lawless – vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards
Doug Blair – lead guitar
Mike Duda – bass
Mike Dupke – drums
Darrell Roberts – lead guitar on 9


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