Lullacry is one of those bands that I can go either way with. Sometimes their releases are really good, very catchy, and rather enjoyable despite my opinion on the current state of female fronted Goth Rock/Metal acts. On the other hand, they also don’t really do much else that’s new to the style either, and that new release can really be a bore, though never really piss me off like other band releases have in recent years. To be honest, I didn’t even know Where Angels Fear was even a concept, and given the six year gap between it and Vol. 4, it’s understandable. I was shocked when the promo hit the inbox, so immediately I decided to throw it on and see what the future held for me with their upcoming full-length.
Right away I found myself giving the group a good deal of credit. It’s rare to find a band that carries the old Hard Rock/Glam Rock sense of fun music today the way this act does. So, as I began listening to their first track, I was quite impressed with their direction to kick things off. “Antidote to You” actually carries a serious tone, and not a simple, fun, energetic openning like most Rock bands would normally do. Instead, it has an angsty tone with a slight Rock ballad feel that doesn’t really cross that line. The song itself was pretty catchy, and the grounded, less enthusiastic vocal style fit the atmosphere well. It comes off as if not trying to really put much effort into it, but largely as if just fed up and tired, which works well for the lyrical content and general attitude of the music here, and elsewhere throughout the album. This is all complimenting a slower pace with catchy, yet gritty Rock riffs that give it a darker tone.
There also is a modern sound to some tracks, which shows up on “Still an Angel.” The track opens with the main riffs being played by the weaker, lighter distortion rhythm guitar, and a heavy “crunching” Alternative Rock style chug. This builds up to a more melodic chorus with stronger singing instead of the faint, distant vocals that made up the verses. I wasn’t all that impressed with this one, but the similar “Antidote to You” attitude kept me entertained. There also is the sound of five numbers being dialed on a phone at the start, and the beeping noise you get when there’s a problem with the line that ends the song. These didn’t do much for the song sadly, but perhaps there is a meaning I just didn’t really pick up on. But, then you have “Thousand Suns,” which puts Lullacry back on the Gothic Rock style, having a slower chug to the verses with a heavier, catchier melodic chorus, the groups traditional template. The difference here is that the chorus is a little more upbeat and hopeful, though the lyrics clearly aren’t as much.
“Feel My Revenge” has a nice guitar introduction with simple chords, giving it a peaceful tone as the vocals shortly kick in with another good performance. The music builds up, feeding into the aforementioned Gothic Rock sound, but this time it went into the ballad territory. The chorus has a strong vocal performance with the thicker lead chords adding some extra bite. The additional male vocals by the album’s producer/former Misery Inc. member Mikko Herranen to the second verse makes it a rather interesting duet. This works out well for the album, largely due to how different it comes off compared to normal Lullacry. And, with that, “Bad Blood” brought back the simpler, dirtier Rock vibe, serious attitude, and darker tone that earlier tracks had, but this time welcomes in a stronger energetic performance than the others had. There’s even some Heavy Metal gang chants coming in during the chorus that gives it a nice edge, coming off as a surprisingly well executed homage to eighties Rock and Metal.
Honestly, my time spent with the first half of Where Angels Fear wasn’t the greatest time spent, but it also wasn’t the worst. Given that it’s been several years since the last Lullacry album, I wasn’t really expecting the world from the group with this album, but I also didn’t really expect this. “Antidote to You” through “Bad Blood” actually caught me off-guard a bit, and my time with these songs was enjoyable. The darker tone found on many of these songs really sets this one apart from their previous offerings, and their fans are easily going to get a kick out of it. But, right now, I’m not too certain how I will take to the rest of the album. The main reason I like Lullacry is because of the more upbeat, fun Rock material and atmospheres found on their albums. The compositions may be simple, and often somewhat repetitive, but it wasn’t the kind of release you really needed to overexamine which made it all work. Here, I feel like I can’t just check my brain at the door and enjoy myself, and that’s honestly what I had expected. I’ll just give this one some time until I can critically approach it from a different state of mind.
Article based on digital review material provided by Scarlet Records.