Review: The Neon God: Part 1 – The Rise

The late ’90s and early 2000s were an interesting period for shock rockers W.A.S.P.. The band went from embracing their shock tactics on KFD, moved onto the party orientated Helldorado and moved quickly into more serious territories with Dying For The World.

Well when that tour was out of the way, W.A.S.P. main man Blackie Lawless announced a two part album to be released in 2004 titled The Neon God. The album is a double concept record based on the rise and fall of a character called Jesse who discovers the ability to read minds and manipulate people.

When The Neon God Part 1 came out, the album was received with mixed praise. Some people did not enjoy the concept, found that the album was essentially biting off more than you can chew. Others felt that the songs on the record were top quality and enjoyed it despite its faults. As a W.A.S.P. fan, I was one of the latter and I enjoy re-visiting this album to this day.

With songs like Sister Sadie (And The Black Habits) and Asylum #9 under their belts, W.A.S.P. had the most energetic and creative sound in years. The playing was top notch with Frankie Banali, Mike Duda and Darrell Roberts pulling out all the stops as they rock the hell out of the fourteen song track list. Blackie Lawless himself puts out a lot of great vocal sections, the highlight being the finale The Raging Storm. On this number, Lawless hits some extremely passionate high notes, some of the highest he has ever hit.

The over all concept of the album sort of falls flat on its backside, this isn’t helped by the strange production choices. The drums have a very big echoing sound that leaves them very much in the background, the guitars sound extremely thin and it just sounds a little awkward to my ears. Despite this complaint, it is still far from the worst that W.A.S.P. have sounded.

This album is definitely worth buying for fans of W.A.S.P. and general completionists. It has some great songs on there, has a good amount of momentum that makes the record a very easy one to listen to. Unfortunately both this and the sequel are now out of print, if you want a copy you will have to pay high prices.

Rating : 8 / 10

Where to buy :

Track Listing :

  1. Overture
  2. Why Am I Here
  3. Wishing Well
  4. Sister Sadie (And The Black Habits)
  5. The Rise
  6. Why Am I Nothing
  7. Asylum #9
  8. The Red Room of The Rising Sun
  9. What I'll Never Find
  10. Someone To Love Me (All I Need)
  11. X.T.C. Riders
  12. Me & The Devil
  13. The Running Man
  14. The Raging Storm