In 1989 W.A.S.P. released their fourth and together with their debut also best studio album "The Headless Children". And Blackie Lawless now also knew how to combine aggressive yet highly melodic songs with a lot of demand. The album was/is definitely not progressive, but also anything but barren. The music hits the body, but at the same time challenges the mind, that is the maybe best description. Who only found W.A.S.P. through their latest works has to watch out for this one, as it is just sheer brilliance.
And then you best get the 98 re-release with six bonus songs. Back then Mr Lawless had his best line-up, apart from legendary founding member Chris Holmes (guitar) there were Jonny Rod (bass, ex KING KOBRA), Frankie Banalie (drums, ex QUIET RIOT) and Ken Hensley (keyboards, ex URIAH HEEP). And even 14 years later the songs still strike like lightning. Only few bands manage to walk the narrow ledge between genius and insanity as masterfully as W.A.S.P. Be it “The Heretic (The Lost Child)” with its angelic beginning and then whipping fast forward motion, the THE WHO cover "The Real Me", the almighty stomper "The Headless Children", the brooding “Thunderhead” with its frenetic drums and goose bump-inducing spoken word part, the incredibly measured, balladesque "Forever Free" (apart from STEPPENWOLF’s "Born To Be Wild" maybe the ultimate biker hymn) or the driving bullet “Rebel In The F.D.G.” with its incredible chorus, each song is like a lottery prize.
And then the bonus songs. One better than the previous one. The JETHRO TULL cover version of "Locomotive Breath" is simply incredible, the following "For Whom The Bell Tolls" (no METALLICA cover version) is an unbelievable mid-tempo grenade that would have been a highlight on any other W.A.S.P. album. "Lake Of Fools" shoots from the hip and cannot conceal a certain BLACK SABBATH tough, while the mid-paced "War Cry" is not exactly gripping, but still a solid song. And the read is brought up by two old band classics in good live versions. No matter which format you will get “The Headless Children”, the album is essential for every collection!!! (Online May 18, 2005)