UPDATED March 18th 2018:
So, I finally got the physical release of this a few weeks back. So, lets update the review:
The album comes packaged in a 4 disc Digipak sleeve, with a slipcase outer. Inside are 2x CDs, for the expanded album, a DVD of the newly re-edited and enhanced “Crimson Idol” movie footage, and a Blu Ray of the same. You also get a booklet with the albums lyrics, and on the panels of the Digipak itself is transcribed “The Story Of Jonathan”. The whole package actually feels really nice, and well put together.
The Video footage is great fun to watch, having been re-edited and enhanced with some effects work since it’s first outing on the “Crimson Idol 15th Anniversary” tour, and matches what was shown on the recent “ReIDOLized” shows.
25 years ago, W.A.S.P. mainman Blackie Lawless unleashed his magnum opus: The Crimson Idol. Yet, it was an unfinished work. There were songs that had been written, partly recorded, and for various reasons never included in the final product. Over the years, a few surfaced on various bootlegs, and a few were repurposed onto the “Still Not Black Enough” album. However, back in 2015, for the “Golgotha” album, Blackie and the current band finally made a full recording of one of the “lost” Crimson Idol songs, “Miss You”. And now, Balckie and his cohorts have revisited the Crimson Idol once more, re-recording all the original tracks, and adding back in some ones that were never included initially. But is it any good? Read on….
So, lets get look at this. The entire Crimson Idol album has been re-recorded. There isn’t a single note from the original release on here. Guitars, drums, synths, vocals are all new. And you can tell. Blackies voice isn’t quite what it was 25 years ago, being a bit rougher and more emotional. And long time band members Mike Duda and Doug Blair bring their own feel and sound to these tracks, familiar as they are with them having helped Blackie tour this album a decade ago to celebrate the albums 15th anniversary. And it all sounds good. The productions is perhaps less smooth sounding that the original, but it feels more urgent, more vital. And the new songs? Well, W.A.S.P. fans are already familliar with just how brilliant “Miss You” sounds, but each of the other new tracks is just as good, enhancing the albums story. The only niggles I have are with a couple of the spoken word story interludes. They sound a bit wobbly and “off”. Especially the one that precedes the albums final track “The Great Misconceptions of Me”. But this is a minor niggle really.
Incidentally, don’t go looking for this album just yet. I got my copy via Amazons MP3 service, when they accidentally released the album on its original scheduled date. It was yanked from sale pretty quickly, as the album (replete with a blu ray of the accompanying short film) has been delayed until the new year and the end of the tour.
5/5 Fiends. Essential listening.
Gallery: (click to enlarge)