Back in April when they released Prayers For The Damned, Sixx:A.M. stated that they would be releasing a second album later in the year, but gave no details about it, not even its title. That second album has now arrived, and as the title would possibly allude to, Prayers For The Blessed is definitely the light to ...Damned's dark, without degrading to the radio-rock territory of Modern Vintage. As a result, the songs are a bit more similar to each other, as the heavier, more aggressive nature of the first album gave them more scope for variety, but song quality hasn't suffered at all. Prayers For The Blessed is packed with what has now become Sixx:A.M.'s trademark catchy, powerful brand of hard rock, with several songs destined to become live staples (We Will Not Go Quietly, Barbarians (Prayers For The Blessed), That's Gonna Leave A Scar, and the pleasingly chunky Wolf At Your Door), while one or two others offer something a little different to the first volume. First off, this one has a couple of ballads. There were none on ...Damned, but the band's style, and in particular the emotive vocals of James Michael, has always suited bombastic rock ballads with crescendo endings, and both of the ones here, Maybe It's Time and closer Helicopters, are perfect examples of that, especially the sweeping orchestration and guitar solo straight out of the D.J. Ashba GN'R book, on the latter. Then there's the furious pace to the main motif of The Devil's Coming and the abrupt changes of melodies and styles which echo Paul Gilbert, before Ashba channels Eddie Van Halen for guitar solo instrumental Catacombs, giving the guitarist some real scope to let loose a little. There aren't really any dull moments on this record. It's a wonderful counterpart to Prayers For The Damned, and will suit any fans of the band down to the ground. It's not quite as good as it's predecessor, just because of that slight lack of variety and one uninteresting track in Suffocate, but it's very close. A very, very rare case of true double album.Written by Andy Lye
More: 2016, Albums, Hard/Heavy Rock, Quickplay Reviews, Sixx:A.M.
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