Belgian Gothic rock band Lovelorn Dolls is out with a new album, “Darker Ages”. Now, before we get into the album, the band was just once simply named as “Lovelorn”, but a few years later they decided to add the word “dolls” into the name, becoming what we know them today as “Lovelorn Dolls”.
I've been following this band for years now, but I never listened to their music at all, I know, I am a bad fan *slaps hand*. So now, I've decided to finally to give them a chance and listen to their latest work. Getting to know the album a bit, the title “Darker Ages” in their words, comes from their expression of tormented moments they went through the last months in their personal lives, expressing them through the tragic events that's been going in our ageing society; the rise of religious extremists and terror attacks, wars, betrayals, in a courageous struggle and continuous quest for a spiritual renewal, they even went far to thanking their antidepressants in the album credits.
Psalms (in the name of God)
The album opens up with “Darker Days”, it begins with a very mellow but strong and heavy instrumentals, waiting for the vocals to come in, but was caught off guard by the growls done by Kristell, I'm pretty impressed. I can sense the feel of anger in the words about “atrocities done in the name of God” being expressed by Ladyhell (Kristell), but also sadness about how people's lives have changed due to “wars and crisis in search of perfect Gods”. Continuing this mellow mood, second track “Dead Sea” is a very depressive slow-paced song, as the piano plays, it tells a tragedy of victims as they tried to sail away from their home to a new life, unfortunately found drowned in the water, including a toddler, giving the name Dead Sea. Next is their single “Lament”, here is where we start to hear the more electronic side of Lovelorn Dolls, emphasizing their sound of darkwave Gothic rock. Returning to it’s familial sound is song “Shining Star”, though the song is very monotonous, the lyrics talks about shadow of someone's former self while being sung in a melancholic tone.
“Happy Endings” sounds like an 80s pop song, bringing a more upbeat atmosphere to the album with the synthesizers playing an important role. This song also proves how diverse Lovelorn Dolls’ sound can be. “Psalms (in the name of God)” has as touch of acoustic and bass, don't let the soft voice of Ladyhell fool you as she tells the horror of God’s follower killing others in his name. “Love Missile” contains a lot of contrasts, starting with heavy guitar riffs, then drops to make way for the synths, I find this song to have been influenced by the sounds Theatre of Tragedy’s album “Aégis”. Next comes “Maniac Girl”, going back to the 80s sound, but with traits of hard rock.
“Legenda Natura” is a short and catchy song, Kristell gives her voice a childlike feel, similar to that of Chibi from The Birthday Massacre. Closing out the album is “Another World”, the song brings a clear message from a multi-cutural children's choir, giving us a door to a new world where everything is true and innocent, giving the album an actual happy ending.
As my first time listening to Lovelorn Dolls, I liked the album. I've haven't listen to good darkwave/industrial rock music in quite a long time, and “Darker Days” brought back my enjoyment for this genre. The album had a noir-cinematic type feel and was able to match the whole theme of this album perfectly. Fans of The Birthday Massacre, Elysion, and Helalyn Flowers, give Lovelorn Dolls a listen and enjoy the sounds of Gothic darkwave.
“Darker Ages” receives an 8 out of 10.
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Kristell Lowagie - Vocals
Corpus Christi - Guitars
Nicho Brynin - Bass
Nico Davel - Drums