By STEVE JOHNSON
Alice Cooper is a living legend of rock who’s career has spanned an amazing five decades.?His career has managed to shape modern heavy metal and introduce shock rock into the mainstream.?Most modern metal bands owe a huge thanks to Alice for helping usher in metal’s relevance in the music industry.?Alice has released 25 studio albums as part of a band and as a solo artist, with Billion Dollar Babies being the pinnacle of those recordings.?While Alice has not been able to top the success of Billion Dollar Babies, he has continued to turn out albums that have been both entertaining and diverse in style.
Alice’s long-delayed Along Came?a Spider is an album that weaves an intricate story throughout each of its tracks.?It revolves around a serial killer named Spider and his lust for hunting down victims.?Alice takes on the persona of the killer and delivers a haunting and at times sinister portrait of a man driven by a lust for taking lives.?The darker tone of the album is a welcome return to Alice’s roots and is reminiscent of his earlier works, such as Welcome to My Nightmare.
Along Came a Spider features a great lineup of musicians, most of which will be touring in support of the album with Alice.?Keri Kelly, Jason Hook and producer Danny Saber supply the guitars and do a fantastic job.?Chuck Garric returns as bassist on his third album with Alice, while drums are handled by Eric Singer of KISS fame.?Alice’s vocals and storytelling take center stage, but there is no denying the talent of these musicians and what they have brought to the album. ?
Along Came?a Spider also features two guests who need no introduction and stand as icons in the world of metal and hard rock.? ?Vengeance Is Mine,? one of the best tracks, features Slash, who delivers a blistering performance?on lead guitar.?Ozzy Osbourne also appears as co-writer of ?Wake the Dead? and as the harmonica player on the track.??Wake the Dead? is not the strongest song on the album, but it is interesting to hear the result of two powerhouses of rock getting together creatively.
Although tracks such as ?Vengeance Is Mine,? ?(In Touch wth) Your Feminine Side? and ?Catch Me If You Can? are rockers, it is the ballad ?Killed by Love? that is the album’s finest moment.? Not your typical ballad, ?Killed by Love? is a beautifully haunting and dark love song that only Alice Cooper can deliver.?His vocals are exceptional and represent some of his best work in years.
Along Came?a Spider is a good album that delivers a great story and is highly recommended for any hardcore Alice Cooper fan out there.? New listeners of Alice’s work may want to check out a few of his earlier albums before giving this one a listen.
THE VERDICT: 4.5/5