BEST MODERN HARD ALBUM OF THE YEAR : SIXX:A.M. – Prayers For The Blessed Vol.2 (2016)
Near the end of the year, it’s time to recap about the best 2016 releases, by category.
For 0dayrox, the Best Modern Hard Rock album of the year is SIXX:A.M. “Prayers For The Blessed Vol.2”
What time is it? On the clock of contemporary hard rock it is always SIXX: A.M. As bassist Nikki Sixx along with guitarist DJ Ashba and vocalist James Michael release the second half of their 2-part blazing hard rock albums… tomorrow November 18th number two will be “Vol. 2, Prayers For The Blessed”.
“Vol. 1, Prayers For The Damned” and “Vol. 2, Prayers For The Blessed” were both written and recorded at the same time, they are companion pieces carefully structured to kick the bands own sound print upstairs to its fullest tilt and it brings the demand to the fans of Nikki Sixx.
You can not ask for much more hard rock swagger from the heart and soul to the fans than this. Sixx et al deliver. Coming off their 2015 tour Nikki Sixx had stated that being onstage really influenced the way they connect and write. Evidently that focus was the spark into creating both salaciously trick volumes.
Right out of the depths of Sixx signature and the truism of what Ashba, and Michael bring “Vol. 2, Prayers For The Blessed” is the iconic half to ‘Volume 1’.
This monster album kicks off with “Barbarians (Prayers for the Blessed)” a fist pumping anthemic track that sets the tone for the rest; big vocals and a blistering lead really make this track stand out. “We Will Not Go Quietly” is next up. There is more of a groove on this one. It hits hard, but the melody continues to be the focus.
Stepping into the grooving motion of “That’s Gonna Leave A Scar” to the ‘rockpertic’ show of “Maybe It’s Time” showcases the diversity that lives and breathes deep within the talents of Nikki Sixx.
This next ‘volume’ certainly hails the first and delivers the striking abilities of what the road can bring to songwriters… it develops a focused consciousness that connects with the fans.
“Wolf At My Door” has some dirt and grit breathed in, while the heartfelt ballad “Maybe It’s Time” strikes the emotive. Guitarist Ashba really delivers his skills on “Catacombs” and the hardest rock sound to come from the album falls on track, “The Devils Coming.” Opening acoustically “Suffocate” leads to a hailing crunch when the chorus kicks in.
“Vol. 2, Prayers For The Blessed” is darn fooking awesome. This is how hard rock should be done 2016.
What impresses me so much? First is the sound. The sound engineers here did a phenomenal job recording this album. The voices are clear and powerful, each instrument stands out on its own, yet melts perfectly into the song. Not sure what they did differently here, but this is how albums should be recorded.
Next is the songwriting; this is how a hard rock album is supposed to be composed (and performed): full of good swagger, melodies, riffs, crunch, anthems, rhythm, gritty, pumping, groove-driven, all fill the cup of excelling and smashingly hitting rock n roll.
These boys are at the top of their game in knowing what is current and this release will withstand the test of time.
Go and buy it now. A Must
01. Barbarians (Prayers For The Blessed)
02. We Will Not Go Quietly
03. Wolf At Your Door
04. Maybe It’s Time
05. The Devil’s Coming
07. That’s Gonna Leave A Scar
08. Without You
10. Riot In My Head
Nikki Sixx – bass guitar, composer
DJ Ashba – lead guitar, composer
James Michael – lead vocals, keyboards
Melissa Harding, Amber Vanbuskirk – background vocals
Dustin Steinke – drums