After the success of the first part of the Neon God story by W.A.S.P. came the wait. Telling the story of Jessie Slane and his rise, the Neon God pt. 1 brought Blackie Lawless back into the more serious story oriented concept that was championed by earlier releases such as the brilliant 'The Crimson Idol'. Slane had just risen up but sometimes when you shoot high, you must come down. This brings us to the anticipated part 2 of the story. I am not going to go into this much because I believe it is better to grab a copy of the album and read along as you go. It's not my place to develop the story. Instead, I wanted to gauge the music on the latest offering. I have been a fan of this band for a very long time. To nail it down exactly, I grabbed a copy of the 'F**k Like a Beast' maxi-single before the band 's excellent debut. I liked what I heard and became a huge fan of the band. One would think that living fast as the band was doing early on would also lead to an early demise. Not so. This band has grown immensely and the 'Neon God' releases are the testament to this. The second part of the saga opens with the dark heavy rocker 'Never Say Die'. I was happy immediately as I am sure most fans will be. Looking at this conceptual album however should lead us to ups and downs in the music and tempo. This is where Lawless is at his best. He has the musical ability to convey emotion through his music. It makes for a very masterful album indeed. A song to point to is the amazing 'Clockwork Mary' that has you thinking one way only to kick you in the teeth moments later. Another favorite track of mine is 'Come Back To Black'. Just has a very catchy vibe to it. And how about the album and story finale 'The Last Redemption'? Perfection for this band. Looking at the entire album, I would say that out of the two 'Neon God' albums, this one would be my favorite. Just like the overall feel of the album although I want to point out that I like the first part quite well. I think Blackie is really in his element with these types of releases. W.A.S.P. has always had 2 faces, the shock face and the thinking mans face. The band really is amazing at both although I prefer the thinking mans version.
For those who have the first part to the story, this one is a must have. Musically, it is an amazing piece of work. Take a listen to the finale 'The Last Redemption' and you'll know what I am talking about. For those who don't have part 1, what the hell are you waiting for. These 2 albums will really be looked back on as high points of the bands career as 'The Crimson Idol' was. There is just something about the emotional aspect of Lawless' writing. He's a great storyteller and a pretty damn good musician as well. Essential!
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Reviewed by Dave Palmer
Here is a band that is making a bit of noise. Italian progressive rockers Moonlight Comedy may decieve you a bit just by looking at their name. It's not a comedy act. These guys play it much more serious. The quality of musicianship is top notch. The band musically remind me of Dream Theater except in the vocal parts. Lots of keyboard used as depth enhancement and a very hard driving guitar sound. The album opens with the track 'Oceans' which sets the tempo of the album. Although there is a progressive feel to the album tracks like 'Hidden Truth' almost have a bit more power metal to them almost bringing up bands like Silent Force. There is alot of melody in that particular track which is very cool. Good mix of intensity and melody. Speaking of intensity again, 'Masters of your Mask' gets the job done. This song is intense in guitar and vocal work. Once again the track is infectious with an overlying melody. I could go on and on but it might be better to sum this up by saying that the music is very consistent in nature. The style is similar from track to track without sounding like each track is the same. This particular style of metal is pretty hard to break out in especially due to the fact that the fanbase of this style is finicky. It also gets tough to not come across to self indulgent. I think Moonlight Comedy has done a very good job avoiding this particular problem. The music is accessible which is something that is hard to achieve when you are over doing it. You want to appeal to the fans without being to overly technical to where you abandon those just looking for a good time. They hit the nail on the head with that particular attribute. Other tracks that I liked upon listening to this album included 'Adam's Rib', 'The Divine Comedy', 'Immortal Child' which reminds me a bit of Vanden Plas, and the closer 'Into the Life pt. 1' which shows a more melodic side to the band.
This is a very good Italian progressive metal band. If I was to try to describe them I would mention a cross of Dream Theater and Vanden Plas with a touch of Silent Force here and there. The music is very consistent throughout. I would say the lean more Vanden Plas. The music is consistent from start to end. The only really slow track is the closer 'Into the Life pt. 1' with the rest really working you out. I think the band has a lot of potential and could break into that finicky market of progressive. Only time will tell though. Very good stuff!