SIXX A.M. – Prayers For The Damned Vol.1 (2016)
The three rock ‘n roll musketeers, Nikki Sixx (bass), Dj Ashba (guitar), James Michael (lead vocals) known as SIXX:A.M. are about to release their new opus “Prayers For The Damned Vol.1” next April 29 via Eleven Seven Music.
With Nikki having time away from the Motley Crue commitments and Dj Ashba’s decision to leave Guns N’ Roses, this band is now fully-fledged and ready to fly.
Eight years down the line and here comes a fourth album which represents the band most complete and ambitious work. They have been together for seven years and the sound gets tighter and tighter.
“Prayers For The Damned Vol.1” includes some of the heavier songs this band ever released, musically and lyrically, but also darn catchy rocking melodies.
Not that this record can compensate for ‘loosing’ Mötley Crüe. Quite different are the musical approaches. But the new album of this trio provides us with excellent modern hard rock music that is highly entertaining and covers a wide range of sounds.
Each of the eleven tracks shows a bit of another angle of view on Sixx:A.M., with one song that sticks out. The opener “Rise”, also chosen to be the first single, is an ultra cool rocker with a heavy guitar riff and a murderous groove. Together with catchy vocal lines this number is an ‘all done right track’. This track stick to your mind as a wet spaghetti sticks to the wall. Next to these qualities the song also describes the power of standing together, for, like Sixx said, “rising up against some oppressive forces”. A song with a message that is very well done.
The other ten chapters on the tracklist are good ones too. The title song is a mid pace one, a tune with a kind of a sad vibe, but on the other side also kept highly melodic. The more silent sounds are represented on “Prayers of the Damned (Vol.1)” as well.
“Better Man” isn’t really the ballad you might expect. But Sixx:A.M. builds this number on acoustic guitars, with a structure that grow up towards the chorus to just fall back into a reflecting verse afterwards.
“Belly of the Beast” has nothing to do with the Anthrax song, having the same title. Instead of, Sixx:A.M. did a song that belongs to the craziest ones on this longplayer. It is a more creepy number, that creates pure joy the first time you listen to it. But it also needs a few more rounds in your player to explore the real pleasure of this song. It’s build on a dominant beat and it’s the rhythm section that pushes especially this track to its best.
For keeping the flow exciting, the band placed with “Everything Went to Hell” a mighty riff rocker as the next song on the tracklist. This tone has the right punch and is a 4 minutes energizer with the kind of guitar riff which compel you to get up and stomp a mudhole in the ground with incessant foot tapping, hips swinging and fists pumping.
The final song on the album “The Rise of the Melancholy Empire” is an anthem of defiance, of overcoming adversity, saying ‘fuck you’ and with a promise to return.
Sixx:A.M. releases with “Prayers for the Damned (Vol.1)” their strongest album since they started almost a decade ago. This record has the potential to bring the guys even more on the agenda of rock fans since it combines a true heaviness, demanded by metal heads, with a melodic and dark rock expression, that is strong enough to get some radio airplay.
The trio have produced the kind of record which burrows deep down into your ear, makes itself at home and refuses to leave. Infesting your head with poisoned hooks, built around sugary sweet melodies and enough guitar solos to woo even the coldest musical soul.
01 – Rise
02 – You Have Come To The Right Place
03 – I’m Sick
04 – Prayers For The Damned
05 – Better Man
06 – Can’t Stop
07 – When We Were Gods
08 – Belly Of The Beast
09 – Everything Went To Hell
10 – The Last Time (My Heart Will Hit The Ground)
11 – Rise Of The Melancholy Empire
James Michael (lead vocals)
Nikki Sixx (bass)
Dj Ashba (guitar)