It's difficult not to look at The Holy Bible
as Richey James
' last will and testament, yet that only makes the record all the more powerful. A remarkable step forward from the Manic Street Preachers
' first two records, The Holy Bible
is a tense, harrowing collection of tortured, cryptic declarations of depression -- the diary of anorexia "4st 7lb" is one of the most chilling songs in rock & roll. James
' lyrics, which are punctuated by Nicky Wire
's political tirades, are unflinching in their bleakness. Every song has a passage frightening in its imagery. Although the music itself isn't as scarily intense, its tight, terse hard rock and glam hooks accentuate the paranoia behind the songs, making the lyrics cut deeper.