9 OUT OF 10
With members of Motley Crue and Guns n Roses, Sixx AM, a hard rock band from Los Angeles, were formed in 2007 and could have been classed as a bit of a supergroup, put together for publicity purposes. This record, however, shows that this is definitely not the case.
With Nikki Sixx finishing his final tour with Motley Crue and DJ Ashba leaving Guns n Roses, the band had more time to dedicate to their latest project, “Prayers for the Damned Part 1” and become the “real band” they have always had the potential to be.
They have not disappointed.
With Sixx on bass and Ashba on guitar, they are joined by the fantastic vocal talents of James Michael, and together they have produced one of the best albums of 2016 so far.
As the title suggests, this is the first part of a double album, with the second half due to be released later on in the year, and was released by Eleven Seven Music on April 29th 2016. At just under fifty minutes long, its eleven tracks are infectious anthems in the making, each having a sing-along-ability that would go down extremely well live. In the words of Nikki Sixx himself the album contains “songs that are designed to get a reaction from a live crowd as much as they are going to sound brilliant over your stereo.”
He was not wrong. Opening with “Rise” the first single from the album, and an obvious gig opener, the tone is set right from the beginning. Heavy riffs, ridiculously catchy choruses and adrenaline filled solos litter this album to the point you don’t want to turn it off.
Lyrically, it is very intense, with regular references to God and Jesus, and some hard-hitting themes. “Better Man” talks of dying and going to heaven to become the “better man” as mentioned, “When We Were Gods” deals with the constant clash between good and evil while “Everything Went To Hell” is obviously the story of every bad breakup that ever occurred. The album appears to be a journey of life and self-discovery, often making the listener question their own past, present and future. As DJ Ashba says, “we are on a mission to give our fans even more than they could have hoped for, musically and lyrically.”
This is a strong, honest and vibrant album, with guitar solos that would send tingles down the spine of all guitar lovers, vocals that make you sit up and bloody well listen and bass lines that make you realise Nikki Sixx is actually a superb bassist, coming into his own on “Belly of the Beast”, controlling the track with a funky, groovy bass line throughout.
Classed as fillers by a number of other reviewers, two of my favourite songs on the album are “When We Were Gods” and “Belly of the Beast” but the stand out song for me has to be the title track “Prayer for the Damned”, a song overflowing with sentiment, its powerful lyrics and emotional guitar solos hitting you right bang in the heart.
I loved this album from the moment “Rise” first blasted through the speakers and the more I played it the more I loved it. The only “bad” point I could find was that to some fans there might be too many ballady type tracks and not enough balls to the wall rock songs, but for me this was not a problem as there was enough power, rawness and emotion to keep the level of performance at staggering levels.
It is plain to see that each member has given 110% to the making and production of this album, even the cover was designed by Ashba, and I, for one, can’t wait or “Prayers of the Damned Part 2” to be released.
This is not the next great rock album but it is certainly one that will be played time and time again, and one that will give Sixx AM fans more great live gigs to attend.
Motley Crue this is NOT!
- 1. Rise
- 2. You Have Come To The Right Place
3. I’m Sick
4. Prayers For The Damned
5. Better Man
6. Can’t Stop
7. When We Were Gods
8. Belly Of The Beast
9. Everything Went To Hell
10. The Last Time (My Heart Will Hit The Ground)
11. Rise Of The Melancholy Empire
- Nikki Sixx – bass guitar. backing vocals
- DJ Ashba – lead guitar, backing vocals
- James Michael – lead vocas, rhytm guitar, keyboards
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Reproduced here with kind permission from Metal Gods TV