By Tim Webb Every musician has to wish they could evolve as appropriately and uncontrived as Alice Cooper. Navigating a career beginning as a theatrically heavy metal band packed with tons of non-gimmicky violence and an unparalleled live show into a seminal band that caught its second wind in the ‘80s pop metal is no easy task. The fact that there’s a new Alice Cooper album after four decades of existence is an accomplishment in itself, but “Along Came a Spider” doesn’t dwell on this feat, or even really acknowledge it. In fact the “God of Shock Rock” hasn’t mellowed a bit as he inches closer to collecting Social Security. “Along Came a Spider” Cooper’s 25th studio album, chronicles the story of a serial killer, aptly named Spider, through 11 massively huge anthems that only Cooper can make. Opening with a series of strong tracks in the form of the shredfully brilliant “Vengeance is Mine,” the androgynously delightful “(In Touch with) Your Feminine Side” and the dirty garage rock of “Wrapped in Silk,” Cooper proves just how easy it is to miss his imaginative lyrics amidst the sweltering rock. He sings a graphic display of poetic violence in “Wrapped in Silk,” with lyrics like, “How could you see my face? When could you feel the knife? Was it your final thought, the moment I took your life?” Even the slow-burning “Killed by Love” and the piano heavy “Salvation” never reach points of mind-numbing melodrama and are just as gripping as any thrasher on the album. Dwayne and Garth weren’t morons for bowing to Alice Coops in the infamous “we’re not worthy” scene in “Wayne’s World.” In fact, getting some dust on those kneecaps no wouldn’t be much of a stretch as “Along Came a Spider” is one of the most compelling concept albums in recent memory. Alice Cooper’s continual evolution proves that school may have been out for Cooper for decades now, but that doesn’t mean he’s still teaching a class on how to make enduring rock.