Overall Score: 8/10 Emotional strength: 9/10 Riffage: 9/10 Replayability: 8/10 Pros: Carries a valuable moral at its heart Cons: Not as endearing and addictive as its 'Damned' counterpart
Not to be confused with an optimistic ode to the blessings of life, round two of 2016’s Sixx:A.M. domination ‘Prayers for the Blessed’ praises the flawed while shaking the perch of the blissfully ignorant.
Empowering from the onset, ‘Barbarians (Prayers for the Blessed)’ makes a neat mission statement before fists are thrust into the air as voices fight through the static of ‘We Will Not Go Quietly’. The captivating opening of ‘The Devil’s Coming’ and the breathtaking electric solo of ‘Catacombs’ give these masters plenty of platforms for their instrumental genius, even a passionate cover of Badfinger’s unforgettable ‘Without You’ suits them down to the ground.
Before long, the traditional classic rock sentimentality pours through ‘Maybe It’s Time’ and the sickeningly catchy ‘That’s Gonna Leave A Scar’, but it’s only James Michael that can deliver such conviction through his voicebox that truly makes you feel ten feet taller. In the midst of ‘Riot In My Head’, the words “I might as well be dead” ring from Michael’s voicebox with such authenticity reserved especially for this heck of a band. ‘Suffocate’ also allows Michael’s voice to crack softly in front of the mic, a sincere demonstration of just what Sixx:A.M. can do with a heartfelt ballad.
“Say a prayer for the blessed as they’re dying in our hands,” exclaims Sixx:A.M.’s damning letter to the privileged, and not a moment too soon. While not quite as replayable as its ‘Damned’ predecessor, ‘Prayers for the Blessed’ is a heart-wrenching addition to their already impeccable back catalogue.
‘Prayers for the Blessed’ is out now via Eleven Seven Music.