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Album Reviews : Sixx:A.M. – Prayers for the Blessed Vol. 2

By on November 28, 2016

prayers-for-the-blessedIn the near-decade since their inception as a side-project to the inner workings of his own mind, the iconic Nikki Sixx has managed to take a firm grip on his now-only musical project and propel Sixx:A.M. to new heights. The sequel to Prayers for The Damned, which was met with critical praise on all side, Prayers for The Blessed has much to prove from the former bad boy of glam metal and his band of hard rockers alongside him. A solid forty-six-minute culmination of straight forward, chorus-driven hard rock, this album struggles to break any new musical boundaries, but have rather consolidated their balls-to-the-wall sound.

The track list of this album is one that doesn’t sit right with me. Coming off the incredible quality high of opener “Barbarians (Prayers for The Blessed)” straight into lead single “We Will Not Go Quietly”, Sixx:A.M. have cemented a rather strong position within the first ten minute of the album’s commencement. Whilst thoroughly enjoyable form a musician’s standpoint, the intermission track “Catacombs”, felt quite unnecessary. Whilst still well into the middle tracks, I couldn’t help but noticed that the heavier tracks like “That’s Gonna Leave a Scar” and “The Devil’s Coming” would’ve been much better off being placed further back in the album’s track list. This is primarily since the more soft, mellow tracks “Riot in My Head” and “Helicopters” were a poor choice of tracks to close the album, which led to a very disappointing conclusion to an album riddled with soaring vocals, intense rhythms and an overall in-your-face hard rock approach.

It’s no secret that the collective talent of Sixx:A.M.’s personnel are one of the most prolific in the Rock’n’Roll world. The near-four-decade’s experience of Nikki Sixx ensured well-crafted, well-written basslines which provides a genuine hook around every musical corner. Former Guns N Roses guitarist DJ Ashba shines in this release, his simple approach to his rhythm playing gives listeners a sense of suspense, only to be completely blown away by the level of melodic brilliance in his lead work throughout the album. Vocalist James Michael is the kind of man with a voice that could sooth a lonely soul whilst being able to invigorate a stadium audience into an utter frenzy, his vocal delivery on this album is one of the most impressive I’ve heard on a 2016 release.

In hindsight, looking at Sixx:A.M. as nothing more than an insignificant Mötley Crüe side project has proved to be the catalyst behind the band’s rather amazing surge to the world stage. Now committed on a full-time basis to the band, both Sixx and Ashba have displayed a level of passion in this album that just wasn’t there in the releases of previous years, whilst Michael continues to refine his voice every release. Whilst there is nothing on this album that screams “masterpiece” to me, that’s okay because there’s enough on this album to make me want to go back to it any chance I can get. Despite the safe approach in the songwriting, Prayers for The Blessed is not only a worthy partner to Prayers for The Damned, but is a strong release which I foresee will bring Sixx:A.M. to new peaks in their career.