The Murder of My Sweet: Bye Bye Lullaby

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The Murder of My Sweet: Bye Bye Lullaby
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The Murder of My Sweet: Bye Bye Lullaby
Gothic Metal
AFM Records
May 19th, 2012
Release length: 58:28
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The Murder of My Sweet has been in existence since 2007. They issued their debut album Divanity in 2010, and two years and singles later bring us their follow-up recording, Bye Bye Lullaby. Another female fronted Gothic Metal act, the band has received some pretty fair to impressive scores around the internet among critics and fans. But, is this a sign of a solid offering, or is their second album another unimpressive romp through the style?

Bye Bye Lullabye carries the typical crisp digital audio quality one would expect of a band like this. It has a very stylish sound to it that can’t be ignored, sounding like it’s ready for radio, but still having enough edge at times that it wouldn’t be embraced as a Lacuna Coil knock off. The guitars are rather loud with a nice distortion to them that sounds somewhat heavy, but the clarity leaves it sounding restrained at times. The bass doesn’t quite come through enough to make much of an impact, but it is there and helps with the richer passages. The drumming sounds pretty good though, having a nice echo and bite to the snares, as well as the click of the bass kicks. The cymbals aren’t too loud or demanding, but what exists fills the music nicely with a crisp sound that works with the keyboards and their varying output, largely sounding fluid or carrying a subtle Electronica sound to them. The vocals come through at a decent level and do stick out in the mix, but, while they work with the music, there’s no real discernable emotion to be found for the most, and it can leave you wanting a little more passion from them.

But, despite the audio issues, there’s still some catchy material here, and a unique presence. The music, as well as the vocal performance, feeds into a stylish “high society,” even noir atmosphere. As far as the material goes, there’s nothing too bad to really say, as Bye Bye Lullaby has it’s share of enjoyable songs. “Armageddon” makes a nice start, though it sounds a little more generic than anything. The music is catchy, and there’s a little extra push in the vocals to make it stick out as one of the more memorable songs. This also includes “Unbreakable,” another simpler, typical track, but, regardless of its radio friendly sound, it carries a bit of an attitude to it that “Armageddon,” and many others just don’t have. But, eventually things do shake up a bit, for example with “Idolize,” which starts things off on an odd note thanks to the upbeat and bubbly keyboards that sound like a music box creating a vastly different atmosphere. The song brings in some tighter music that is a little on the simpler side, but does grow towards some epic passages.

“Violently Peaceful” is a bit toned down like some of the others surrounding it, but it does find a strong vocal performance, and there are some heavier moments at work. The guitar solo here really brings in a darker tone with some impressive guitar work that meshes perfectly back into the slower, catchy material that offers up more emotion than it rightfully has to give. However, this, and many others, can’t hold a candle to the fantastic “Meant to Last Forever.” The passion and hurt in the vocals finally comes through, almost able to bring a tear to your eye, especially when the music relies solely on the piano to push it forward. The rest of the instruments help to move the song along when they become involved, but in many ways you’ll wish they didn’t exist. There is a bit of an uplifting vibe as it continues on, but the crisp audio just takes away from the overall impact, which is the most depressing part of all.

However, “Waiting for the 27th” works in that realm nicely. The very noir sound of the music is great, taking on more of a classical vibe to it than a traditional Rock sound. The orchestration works out nicely, but the higher pitch of the vocals, especially when more energetic, just doesn’t sound right. While a good song, this would have worked out a lot better with a slightly lower tone with the same kind of emotion felt in “Meant to Last Forever,” though the crazy cackle near the end certainly sets an eccentric vibe well that is carried into the slightly more chaotic and heavier “Black September.” Sadly, it doesn’t hold up the off-kilter atmosphere the previous track ends on. It is, however, really catchy, especially in the chorus when the music gets tighter and the keyboards add a bit of a richer sound with a Gothic Musical influence similar to something one might expect from Nightwish. This does continue into the just more powerful conclusion “Phantom Pain,” which is a superb way to close the album out, as well as this little set of songs that are linked together.

All in all, Bye Bye Lullaby is a surprisingly good album that is really only faulted by the at times emotionless noir-esque vocal approach, and the audio quality that ends up sterilizing much of the infection that the tighter and epic music carries. Other than that, The Murder of My Sweet does an excellent job of weaving some Metal edge with catchy Gothic Rock material through all thirteen of the songs, never giving the listener a moment that feels forced, overly bland, or boring. The album isn’t anything that will set a new standard for the female fronted Gothic Metal style, but the group’s approach to the music really does make it stand out as its own entity. If you’re burnt out on the typical knock offs of this genre, The Murder of My Sweet is still worth a listen, as it will restore some faith in the abilities of these types of bands once more.

01. Armageddon – 4:31
02. Fallen – 3:02
03. Unbreakable – 3:43
04. I Dare You – 4:46
05. Violently Peaceful – 5:03
06. Meant to Last Forever – 4:02
07. Idolize – 4:07
08. Kind of Lousy – 4:33
09. The One – 3:02
10. Resurrection – 6:07
11. Waiting for the 27th (BooH Prologue) – 4:42
12. Black September – 4:31
13. Phantom Pain – 6:19
Overall Score: 8/10
The Murder of My Sweet (band)
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Digital review copy of this release provided by AFM Records via Earsplit PR.