Dead Stories of Forsaken Lovers

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Echozone, 2020)

Karakter: 4/6

Vlad in Tears album cover.jpgThe German collective named Vlad in Tears is not only a talented bunch of musicians, but also a highly productive one in that “Dead Stories of Forsaken Lovers” is their 8th full-length record since the band's inception back in 2006. Mixing huge-sounding rock with mournful melodies and introspective lyrics, this LP walks that fine line between power and bombast on one side of the fence and a strange, unsettling sense of calm on the other where the more morose qualities of the album come to the fore and are underlined. To these ears, it sounds as if Vlad in Tears are inspired by everything from Alice in Chains and Soundgarden to The Cure and The 69 Eyes, which is totally cool by me. The tunes possess a good drive and a decent amount of groove, but above all, they are truly dynamic and vibrant. The dark vocals suit the song material nicely and these dudes most definitely have a knack for churning out great hooks and catchy riffs. Not every composition is all-out awesome and a few of them are slightly forgettable compared to others, but none of them are downright horrendous or badly written or anything of that sort.

“Dead Stories of Forsaken Lovers” is not the most thrilling hard rock output in existence – just so that we are clear on that – but it is a potent and atmospheric piece of work that could totally work in a giant-sized stadium in front of a rapturous audience or simply when you are on your own and desire some memorable rock music with a tinge of sadness to it. This is one of those discs that I will be coming back to now and again. On a final note, the digipak version includes a number of acoustic bonus cuts (one of which is a cover rendition of Alice in Chain's “Man in the Box”) and they are generally pretty decent and well-played but nothing overly fabulous or noteworthy as such. Still, only a sour asshole would complain about the inclusion of seven bonus tracks, so hats off to Vlad in Tears for including them and putting together a special edition of the record.

Highlights and standout tracks: “Heavy Rain”, “Every Day It's Gonna Rain”, and the haunting “Sleep Lover Sleep”.

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