Label: Eleven Seven Music Group
Release Date: April 29, 2016
Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur
Few bands leave me on the edge of my seat anticipating a new disc, but Sixx: A.M. is one of those bands. After blowing me away with Heroin Diaries, I had high hopes for their last release, and while really good, it wasn’t on the same level in my mind. The band’s latest release, Prayers For The Damned (Vol. 1) puts them back up in the ranking in my mind. Disc opener and lead single “(Rise) Get Yourselves Together” takes us back to a similar sound and feel of the band’s debut release, without sounding repetitive. The vocals perfectly convey the lyrical content while the guitars scream and squeal through the verses and chorus. “You Have Come To The Right Place” kicks off heavily thanks to a punishing bass line from Nikki Sixx and cool drums thrown in to assist in anchoring the track. The guitars groove along in the background supporting the catchy anthemic vocals on the chorus. Title track “Prayers For The Damned” brings a chugging groove to the mix, allowing DJ Ashba to shine on guitar at the bridges when he solos, but also at the verse and choruses when his steers the track along. “Can’t Stop” is a great rock track that builds on most of the other sounds on the disc, while shifting up the tempos and textures of the other tracks. The bass is heavy underneath the main part of the track, while the guitars push the track along. “Belly Of The Beast” is one of the catchiest tracks on the disc. The song is accentuated by James Michaels’ killer vocals, the crunchy rhythm from the guitars and funk-filled vibe from the bass, and the heavy handed drums. The groove, which gets the head banging and foot tapping, grabs you and doesn’t let go. Disc closer “Rise Of The Melancholy Empire” wraps things up with a mellow track that is slightly melancholic, but shifts gears at the chorus, gaining strength and intensity. This song brings the disc to an end that prompts you to kick it back to the first track… over and over.
“I’m Sick” is a bit of a left turn, with a darker groove and vibe on the verses than most of the other tracks on the disc, but it fits within the scheme of the songs and adds depth to the disc. Once the chorus works itself in, Ashba’s guitars and Michaels’ vocals blend to create a cool sound that grabs your attention and won’t let go. “Better Man” is a mellower track and melds well with the other songs on this collection. While ripping a vibe from Heroin Diaries, this track shows a little growth as a writing unit and band. The emotionally charged vocals come across beautifully throughout the song. “When We Were Gods” marries some of the melancholic sounds from the bands first release with the heavier grooves of the sophomore effort. The vocals are huge while the bass from Sixx gives the song added punch. “Everything Went to Hell” is an awesome rocker that carries the killer groove from the other tracks and adds something to them, giving the disc a different tone and texture. The bass is punchy and the guitars roam from style to style, but some together in a cool swirl of sound. The vocals are some of the best on the disc. “The Last Time (My Heart Will Ever Hit The Ground)” is a racing track that kicks the disc along towards the end. The cadence of the track is built for speed and the vibe of the track begs to be played live – hopefully this one will hit the bands setlist when they start touring behind the release. Prayers For The Damned is a disc full of killer tracks and no filler that will keep you coming back time and time again… until Vol. 2 is released!
Tracklisting: (Rise) Get Yourselves Together – You Have Come To The Right Place – I’m Sick – Prayers For The Damned – Better Man – Can’t Stop – When We Were Gods – Belly Of The Beast – Everything Went to Hell – The Last Time (My Heart Will Ever Hit The Ground) – Rise Of The Melancholy Empire
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