Release: 29.04.2016 Label: Eleven Seven Music / Warner ADA
Being bluntly honest, last year at this time I didn´t even know the band Sixx:A.M. – only on their US tour, which I attended, I got to know and appreciate the band. And all the last months I, just as so many other fans, was waiting for their new album and just a few days ago, the waiting was over. Since 29th of April, Prayers For The Damned can be found in stores. Is the walk to the store worth it? You´ll get to know here!
It all starts off with a good portion of rock – Rise clearly is a successful start into the album, and somehow it has that “typical Sixx:A.M. sound” within; something you can remember, which is not only based on the guitar sound but also on James Michael´s vocals and vocal color. You Have Come To The Right Place is going into the same direction – you could think that this track is the seamless continuation of the first track – and that´s something hard to achieve, especially when keeping the same amount of power.
Already with the first two tracks the listener realizes that the band likes to use distortion, also on vocals – personally I’m not a huge fan it, therefore I´m Sick is not exactly matching my taste. A clear and unaltered voice could´ve added much more depth to the song – overall, it is no bad track, it simply has far more potential. When We Were Gods is the best example of how a “healthy” mix of clear and altered vocals can sound like. The fragile touch of James´ vocals, a great contrast to the rocking chorus (I´ll gently ignore the fact that the transition between the verse and the chorus are really harsh).
Let´s continue with what I would call my favorite track off this album – Prayers For The Damned is straight forward, music- and vocalwise, it is a song that goes straight to the heart, not only because of its lyrics. Where is the repeat button? I think I gotta use it now! Oh no, wait, that would not be smart because then I´d miss out on Better Man – and that´s another rock song, yet at the same time a thoughtful track, whose chorus feels overly bombastic and the rest feels rather pure and simple, yet vocalwise it is full of expression.
Also the last two tracks off this album, The Last Time (My Heart Will Ever Hit The Ground) as well as Rise of the Melancholy Empire are songs that surely will work well during their live shows, you can sing along with full heart, unless you´re busy headbanging. Even though you do not necessarily expect this with Rise of the Melancholy Empire.The song´s beginning is rather slow but it quickly turns into a full power song – that is if you ignore the passages that at least give you a few moments to catch your breath again.
Overall, it´s an album that´s turned out really well – full of power and the intensity, you can feel how much fun they had playing this – but (yes, there is a “but”) one thing is missing in my opinion: and that´s a ballade. The band has proven that they surely know how to write such songs, thus it is hard for me to understand why there is no quiet song on this album.
Favorite tracks: Prayers For The Damned // When We Were Gods // Better Man
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 Ever Hit The Ground)
11 Rise of the Melancholy Empire