“When we were making this album, the idea came from touring “Modern Vintage.” We just wished we had more of the meat and potatoes in our set list, so we started writing an album for touring. Not paying attention to the lyrics and the melody and all that stuff. But in general, it’s like ‘What’s it gonna feel like to play live?’ These are guitar driven songs with strong messages.”
It’s a modern sounding heavy melodic rock album. If the title track was a pop song, expect a lawsuit against it because it has the sound and feel of “The Bleeding” from Five Finger Death Punch. Regardless of the sound and feel, “Prayers For The Damned” is a pretty good fucking song and overall a solid album.
The X-Factor is James Michael.
His voice has so many styles and it adds a modern touch to the band when needed, a pop touch when needed, a classic rock vibe when needed, a funky vibe when needed or his unique falsetto when needed.
I have been a fan of the studio project/now band, since its inception.
It kicks the album off and it has been doing the rounds close to two months now. If charts matter to people, then “Rise” is up there. On Spotify it is approaching a million streams (it has 947,017 streams currently). On YouTube, the lyric video has 296,954 views and the audio only video has 306,617 views. So compared to Spotify, YouTube views pale.
Rise! Get yourselves together
Rise! Stand up and live your life
It’s clichéd and it has been done so many times, however it is always refreshing to hear. The vibe reminds me of 1983 onwards, where so many artists started singing about standing up against the status quo. The riff on the other hand could have appeared on a Shinedown album as it has the feel of “The Sound Of Madness”.
Stand up to the devil slowly rising
Clear your throat now
You can cough for their demise
Speak out, don’t let the status quo define you
This is your world, just put the fear back in their eyes
The band stood up against YouTube and the small payment amounts to artists, asking Google to do the right thing. Meanwhile, artists forget that the reason why YouTube became big and powerful was the labels reluctance to adopt Spotify and other streaming services earlier, especially in the U.S. And is YouTube really the problem when it comes to music. The “Rise” videos do not have any significant views up compared to Spotify. I believe that we, the fans are either official paid streamers or purchasers of mp3’s or CD’s. There is research data out there that supports this position as well.
For a bit of nostalgia, they could have called the song “Shout At The Devil”.
Hey now, don’t be afraid to fight for something
This is your chance, and you can stand for so much more
Dee Snider angst from 1984 is back. It’s an election cycle in the U.S and the anger over the candidates is all over the news. In Australia, the election cycle is also in full swing. We have a Prime Minister who is wealthy and has links to the Panama Papers and a candidate that has shady Union secrets. And we are meant to believe that these people are there to represent us.
“You Have Come to the Right Place”
The song is written around the killer heavy guitar riff from DJ Ashba.
If you’re the last on Earth
Feel like you’re damned or cursed
You have come to the right place
Again it’s the 80’s all over calling all of the hard rock and metal misfits to join together and that there are others in the world just like us.
There was a track by track breakdown over at Billboard.com and Nikki mentioned that he was reading an article in a magazine, when he saw the headline, “I’m Sick, Gimme Some More” and he used the story to finish off a song that musically had been around for a few years.
I say yeah, we are the ill and the deranged
Yeah, I know that I’m sick, give me some more
Actually it’s a brilliant demented lyric and it works really well.
“Prayers for the Damned”
The best track on the album by far and how good are those banshee female vocals. It’s a perfect dance between beauty and darkness where the main character in the song is pushed to the point of desperation and they don’t know where to reach.
What have I got to lose
When I’ve already lost it all
When you’re at the bottom, the only way is up.
I’m just a creature of a broken past
We’re all looking for a second chance
We have more wrongs than rights in our lives. Thank god for those second chances a thousand times over.
Is a continuation of “Prayers For The Damned” and covers the demons of self-doubt.
Give me a second chance, I’m gonna make it last
It has this Pink Floyd “Money” groove in the music merged with “We Will Rock You” from Queen and all built around a chant and a stomping feel. Basically it is brilliant the way it’s all put together as it takes influences from the past and makes the song sound original, modern and unique.
You got blisters on your tongue from all the septic energy
A brilliant way to say, you talk too much shit.
You can’t stop, you cannot stop me
A call to arms.
“When We Were Gods”
It’s a nostalgic song that reflects back to an innocent time of a relationship.
When we were gods, when we were demons
We had it all, we had our reasons
“Belly of the Beast”
This song has a groove that reminds me of “When The Levee Breaks” and DJ Ashba does a wicked job decorating the song. In its simplicity it has a gospel/bluesy feel but man it sounds heavy as hell. But the piece d’resistance again is the banshee female backing vocals in the pre-chorus. t’s brilliant and for a song that took the guys 4 hours to write and record it, it is up there.
Sometimes your only choice is no choice at all
Sometimes the only voice you hear is when the devil calls
Excellent lyrics creating the ‘illusion of free choice’. Remember the line in “The Godfather”, “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse”. The offer was basically do this or you will die. So really the person had no choice at all.
“Everything Went to Hell”
It’s got a Rammstein “Du Hast” vibe in the verses and chorus and in the solo section it goes to Muse level proportions. Lyrically it deals with an event that happened to James Michael when he walked in on his girlfriend in bed with someone else.
I could’ve loved you to death, but now I dance on your grave
Ahh, the feelings of vengeance of the broken-hearted.
“The Last Time (My Heart Will Hit the Ground)”
It continues the story of “Everything Went To Hell”.
I was a worthless king
My life just didn’t matter
You were a morbid queen
Dancing with this cold cadaver
“Rise of the Melancholy Empire”
It’s written in response to the terror attacks in Paris and the lyrics were written in a hotel room in Germany after Bataclan.
We will grow strong from this
We will not be defeated
However hard they try
Over and over and over a thousand times
It’s a perfect bookend for an album that started with “Rise! Get yourselves together, Rise! Stand up and live your life”. Looking forward to Volume 2.