L.S. Media Rating ****

Weapons was probably as apt a title for the fifth Lostprophets studio album as was possible or conceivable to bring to the table when the group discussed what to call it. Each track delivering an intentional Welsh lyrical tirade that pounds away on the speakers and gets the blood pumping which leads to a climax of destruction and incredible power that will no doubt divide the fan base as well as the critics.

The messages that are prevalent throughout the album and the majority of songs is reminiscent to The Alarm’s phenomenal debut album Declaration. Although nearly 30 years separate the two albums, the sense of national identity and personal isolation is stamped throughout. The only thing that stops it from being an album of Welsh warmth and fire is that the band still seem to prefer to have the Hollywood sound that comes from wanting to have one foot in the Welsh Valleys but also doing their best to appeal to the American market.

This may be a reaction to the fourth album The Betrayed not being released in North America, either way a decision needs to be made by the sextet. Not there is anything wrong with that at all, however the members of the band that make up this very superb group could do worse than come home and take up the mantle that the Manic Street Preachers have held with honour for the last 20 years.

The album is full of songs that stand testament to this, including the incredible We Bring An Arsenal, the single Bring ‘Em Down and the gripping Jesus Walks. As all the songs are written by vocalist Ian Watkins, there is cohesion, a binding of the tracks that work well and it is with great anticipation to see how the audiences react to this wonderful album when they tour soon.

Weapons is an excellent album and it seems that the band are finally ready to join the likes of the Manic Street Preachers and The Alarm in bringing songs to the table that have finally reached a more mature audience and away from the “twee” that was an undercurrent in previous offerings.

Ian D. Hall