Artist : Randy Piper's Animal
Album : Virus
Source : CD
Year : 2008
Genre : Heavy Metal
Encoder : Unknown
Codec : LAME 3.93
Bitrate : 192K/s 44100Hz Stereo
ID3-Tag : ID3v2.3
Ripped By : NMR
1. Cardiac Arrest (4:12)
2. Can't Stop (5:01)
3. Don't Wanna Die (3:46)
4. Crying Eagle (3:26)
5. Unnatural High (3:48)
6. Judgement Day (3:55)
7. Who's Next (3:01)
8. Zombie (The Cranberries Cover) (3:36)
9. Shoot To Kill (3:25)
10. L.U.S.T. (4:16)
Total Playing Time: 38:26 (min:sec)
Total Size : 53.1 MB (55,729,916 bytes)
Here is the third album by ex-W.A.S.P. axeman Randy Piper s ANIMAL (or A.N.I.M.A.L. or RANDY PIPER S ANIMAL...dunno...); their debut "9000 Lb. Steam" I would not consider as something extremely tasteful, while "Violent New Breed" (the follow-up) exposed a grand spirit side of Randy and Co. resulting in between into bringing tons of smiley icons in W.A.S.P. fans (the vast majority of ANIMAL s fan base, I guess). So, what s up with "Virus"? Is it worth being infected?
Randy Piper s 52 years old now. And still rocking? Yeap, he does. Having worked (a little bit) with Alice Cooper shortly after he left the W.A.S.P. camp (played in the band s self-titled debut as well as in the "The Last Command" sophomore release), ANIMAL s his own brainchild, tending(?) to re-ignite the 80s W.A.S.P. ideals. No, this is not that fair for him, since in "Violent New Breed", in specific he tried (and managed) to put his own stamp, not only in the songwriting/sound but also in his guitar presentations. And, I think, in "Virus" he does even better.
To the critical, for many third studio album: first of all, the cover artwork would not be some kind of promotional tool, in my humble opinion. Let alone the fact that some lettering as in the Virus word should not easily denote the whole inner . With this thought in mind, by inserting the CD in the player and sitting in relax mode it s apparent the first riff of "Cardiac Arrest" will build up a general sentence going like this: "Hey, that s PRIEST s Metal!". And, probably, the whole CD is metal as well as it s hard , with notable melodies lurking here and there. If it s around the W.A.S.P. standards? Yes, it is, but I d not vote for some copycat status. "Virus" has its musicians influences, and that s the basis, resulting nonetheless in some personal identity effort.
"Cardiac Arrest" is a rollin thunder with a kick ass riff job by Piper and Laney (ZAN CLAN also a top producer in Scandinavia). "Can t Stop" is haunted by singer Rich Lewis LAWLESS-like performance (you ll check this in general voice twists ), in a mid-tempo semi- new Rock mode featuring a wonderful shrieking solo. "Don t Wanna Die" is more happy (in comparison, always!) and reminded me of a what-the-hell mix of MAGNUM and SOUL ASYLUM...spooky and kinda corny...
"Crying Eagle" speeds things up, with beautiful backing keys and a Swedish atmosphere; a top-loud epic track challenging for the top of the album. Plus, what a nice coherence with the follow-up, "UnNatural High", being close to Melodic Rock ideals. A great pair of cuts in a row.
"Judgement Day" is as W.A.S.P. in mid-pace formulas as it can be, while "Who s Next" slows things down in some mystique Ozzy-meets-URIAH HEEP-meets-2008 means. A weird track, anti-mainstream and of prowling quality. Even symphonic/pomp, I d dare saying...
Even if the take on CRANBERRIES "Zombie" impressed me in its lead theme beginning, I did not find the sing parts amusing, resulting in some "...naaah...." notion. "Shoot To Kill" is quite melodic and, in the contrary, traps the listener in its rare volume. I see some MAGNUM again here, dressed in metallum suede...unexpected.
"L.U.S.T." will send you right over to lunacy: an acoustic intro , then the guitars/drums/bass start firing in vague madness, with narrative singing by Lewis and some pomp atmosphere you ll find yourself trapped within. Wish many European happy Power Metal songs had such balls.
Randy Piper (great playing again!) hails from the USA and Chris Laney (in charge of the convincing production, too) comes from Sweden. This collaboration has resulted in another remarkable album. Lewis vocal abilities I think have been upgraded and that s another benefit. The heaviness of Randy s riffs, the melodies of the Swedman s background..."Virus" is highly recommended for melodic Heavy Metal fans. Hosts darkness, bears a fresh sound, exposes retro stuff; a good album, a really good album. An album that overall rocks.