Sixx:A.M – Prayers For The Damned Vol 1
Sixx:A.M Line Up:
Nikki Sixx | bass
DJ Ashba | lead guitar
James Michael | vocals
Dustin Steinke | drums
I have to admit, since their inception in 2007 I gave Sixx:A.M barely a look and only half an ear and for that all I can do is add it to my list of musical regrets. It’s easy to write off “side projects”, those other bands formed by members of some of your favourite bands who release an album or two, (maybe even tour once) and split up and are never heard from again.
But it’s now 2016 and Sixx:A.M are going stronger than ever. Part of that has to do with the very public demise of Mötley Crüe, giving Nikki Sixx a chance to focus more fully on the band which bears his name, and D.J Ashba giving Axl and what’s left of Guns ‘N Roses the flick. If Prayers For The Damned Vol 1 is the result of the improved focus, it’s a shame it took so long. The previous releases have been good solid albums, with some success, but nothing really great. All that is about to change.
The album kicks off with the first single ‘(Rise) Get Yourself Together’ an almost gospel sounding call of “RISE!” It’s an uplifting, foot stomping track that at time of writing this review, was tearing its way up the US rock charts. It also gives us a clear taste of what is about to come. Sixx:A.M have always had a big sound, songs almost perfectly designed to be played in arenas. Prayers For The Damned is no different. The band has actually honed their songwriting and really nailed the big anthem sound. The title track is a great example of this, starting off slowly and building into a balltearer of a song, not least of all due to James Michael’s vocals. His range is as impressive as his control.
‘When We Were Gods’ is yet another example of this, a track reminiscent of the classic Queen sound. Everything about it is big, and I dare anyone not to be singing along by the time the second chorus hits. The album isn’t all huge anthemic numbers, though. There are also slower, softer songs to balance the album out such as ‘Better Man’ which shows an introspective side to the songwriting yet losing none of the power and impact of the heavier songs.
Sixx, Ashba and Michael have crafted a powerful, emotionally packed album where almost every song is a potential single. I’ve had this album on almost constantly since it landed on my desk a couple of weeks ago, and it’s without doubt the best music Sixx:A.M have ever created. As this is the first volume of a two volume set, one can only wonder what else they have in store.
I’m giving Prayers For The Damned Vol 1 ……9 ½ rock gods out of 10
(Rise) Get Yourself Together
You Have Come To The Right Place
Prayers For The Damned
When We Were Gods
Belly Of The Beast
Everything Went To Hell
The Last Time (My Heart Will Hit The Ground)
Rise Of The Melancholy Empire