I am finally getting around to reviewing the fourth album from Sixx:A.M. – Prayers for the Damned on Eleven Seven Music. I have to live with an album for a few weeks before I can accurately determine what I like and what I don’t about an album. I can say there is not much I don’t like about this album.
Prayers for the Damned is the best Sixx:A.M. album to date. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I thought Sixx:A.M. was going to be a one-off project for Nikki Sixx and now I see that they are for real. You think I would have caught on after the second album or even the third. I guess it helps that Motley Crue is no more so that makes me feel this is no longer a side project as well.
The band consists of Nikki Sixx, DJ Ashba, James Michael, and new drummer Dustin Steinke. I feel they are clicking so well as a band on this album and it shows in the quality of the songs and the tone of the album. The songs are pieced together nicely and the flow of the whole album works with just minor hiccups.
The one thing I like about Sixx:A.M. is the darkness of the lyrics. With James’ vocals, you can feel the pain that is behind those lyrics. I am not sure why sadness and depressing lyrics make for great songs, but they do and I love it.
These songs also seem heavier than previous albums and is another reason this album is a must own. The heavy bass, the incredible guitar work & solos and the vocals are working perfectly and deliver everything and more you would want in a hard rock album.
“Rise” – Keeper – The lyrics on Rise seem to be about standing up against the system and to rise up and make a difference. Not a bad message and great way to open the album. The song is a great head banging song and typical of the album.
“You Have Come to the Right Place” – Keeper – Another rocked out song. The song seems to talk about even when you are at the bottom and barely able to go on that you are not alone and others are going through the same thing.
“I’m Sick” – Keeper – The lyrics on this one might be the darkest and I hope Nikki Sixx is still getting counseling as I think he still has a lot of demons bottled up in side. But at the same time, thank goodness as it makes for another great song.
“Prayers for the Damned” – Keeper – This one isn’t as hard and fast as the earlier songs, but musically is great and the vocals shine on the chorus. I love how the story is about reaching out to God in hopes of him helping him battle his demons.
“Better Man” – Delete – The song talks about wanting to be a better man, it is there in the title; however, I don’t feel the song. I don’t feel the passion behind the lyrics and the pace of the song leaves me a little flat. For that reason, I am not interested in hearing it again. I have listened to it numerous times and it never grew on me.
“Can’t Stop” – Keeper – This song picks up the pace again and goes hard. There is not much on lyrics but the pounding of the song and rally cry of “Can’t stop, You cannot stop me!!” throughout just makes it catchy and I find myself screaming along.
“When We Were Gods” – Keeper – The best song on the record…the best song they have ever done. The song builds up slow and than blasts into the chorus. The vocals of James are awesome and the lyrics are deep. The guitar solo just screams and is the best on the album – DJ Ashba just nails it.
“Belly of the Beast” – Keeper – They change up the style on this song and at first I didn’t like the song. As I continued to listen to it, the more it grew on me to the point where I like it now and enjoy the change of pace and style of the song. If a song doesn’t get better with each listen, then it has to go. Thankfully I kept giving it more listens.
“Everything Went to Hell” – Keeper – Another hard rocking song. I think I am going to add this song to my Road Rage playlist for when traffic goes to hell, I can crank this song to 11.
“The Last Time (My Heart Will Hit the Ground)” – Keeper – This song has their typical song formula with a great chorus and a great guitar solo. Not the best song they have done, but still good enough that I enjoy listening to it over and over.
“Rise of the Melancholy Empire” – Delete – The last song on the album is also one of those I didn’t like when I first heard it; however, it never grew on me. They did change things up again and added some piano which I give them credit for trying something different. You might like this one, but I am going to pass.
9 keepers out 11 songs – 82% (4.1 out 5 stars). Prayers for the Damned Vol. 1 is another outstanding album from Sixx:A.M. and they keep getting better. Volume 2 is coming out later this year. I think this is a tough act to follow so now I will have extremely high expectations for the next one. These guys are clicking on all cylinders now and I hope they stay together for years to come.
Go out an buy this album or stream it on one of the streaming services. This is what good rock & roll should sound like.