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February 9, 2011

Lord of the Lost – Fears Album Review

Filed under: Album Reviews — Tags: , , — admin @ 10:03 am

Back in 2008, Chris “The Lord” Harms (vocals, guitar), Sebsta (guitar), Sesai (guitar), Class (bass) and Any (drums) started the studio work for what would be the first LORD OF THE LOST release. In February 2010, all the hard work paid off and their debut 13-track album “Fears” was put on store shelves, ready to break boundaries in the means of GOTHIC METAL (genre choice – album press release).

The presentation of the debut album wasn’t neglected in any way. The CD comes in a jewel box, containing a booklet with lyrics, clean photography and other details on the recording process. The way LORD OF THE LOST chooses to present itself to the public is rather jocular. The front cover depicts an attractive shirtless lead singer with a bold blond haircut, displaying chest tattoo deeming him to be a “lord” as his nickname unmistakably suggests. A bold gesture of the art direction on this debut album is the font selection: there’s a stylized logo used for the name of the band, making it pop right in your eyes, but the album name is barely noticeable, but wisely depicted as a scratch on a wall, maybe that of a madman trapped within his “Fears”. A bonus point goes to the clean and neat text for the back cover and the image used here doesn’t hurt either: it’s a neat representation of all the band members, aligned behind what strikes as the band mastermind. I got to hand it to Chris Harms and Anja Mensch for the well-organized, tasteful work done for the booklet, but I feel like pulling Anja Mensch and Philipp Hannig’s ears for such mundane photography. For an album called “Fears”, the story behind the images fails to capture the allure of neither the music nor the insane asylum photo shoot.

When you start playing the first songs on the LORD OF THE LOST CD, the immediate aural match that pops into your head might be HIM, however taking into account how difficult it might be to produce a Gothic act without it falling into the trivial side is, these newcomers managed to pull it off pretty well even with the uncanny resemblance to a “love metal” group. On the whole, it was pleasant to hear something other than tired gothic metal cliché keyboards and vocals. “Fears” actually brings something new to the table and whether that oddity comes from the singers’ strangely versatile vocals or the melodic hook of the songs is up to the listener. There are some simple tricks to this release that could draw one into fandom, mainly the contrast between this and any other gothic metal release: the obvious gothic rock influences, the old school Goth feeling of some songs, the energy some of these gems manifest and perhaps the most attractive factor are the easily adaptable lyrics on powerful vocals.

The album starts off with the hit single “Last Words“, a song that was also supported by a rather simple fire-water themed music clip directed by Nicola Stahl. Both musically and lyrically, this song doesn’t stand out in any way, it does no justice to the rest of the album due to its plainness. It feels rather odd that this was chosen to be the most representative song of the release by making it the very first title song and the second promoting single of the band. LORD OF THE LOST actually has more to offer than boring bass lines, heavy guitar riffs and lazy drum work. Perhaps more to the positive side, the song is introduced by a choral intro which to a first time listener feels like a generic gothic metal, but there’s an element of surprise with this intro as the song goes into a completely different melodic field.

The first single off the album and the 3rd track, “Dry the Rain” is according to last.fm the most listened song of the band. Right off the bat, I will admit that this song rightfully deserves so many plays and it justifies the musical aura of LORD OF THE LOST. This song also benefited from a Nicola Stahl directed music clip, depicting the band members as rock stars and making good use of the beautiful Anja Mensch acting skills. From the very eerie beginning to the last keyboard notes, this song is very powerful, accurately portraying the “fear” behind the lyrics. Chris Harms’ versatile vocal cords are very well put into focus in this song and his lyrical abilities are also complemented here, simple, strong, to the point: “We need a sun to dry the rain / We need to break the chain / Of yesterday”. Out of the 13 tracks on this album, “Dry the Rain” was the best choice for introducing these newcomers and enforcing the musical intent they wish to follow.

Another outstanding track is definitely “Sooner or Later”, a wonderful ballade that emphasizes Chris Harms’ distinguishable vocal qualities accompanied by a pleasant violin/piano line that later shifts gears into rougher vocals with added guitar riffs, bass, drums and aching strings. The ending to this climactic track only showcases the mournful more introverted feel that this album has with a gracious piano line, giving the feeling of the end of a movie, more than just an album.

On the hesitant side, the other songs on the album didn’t deliver as much: from the HIM like “Break Your Heart”, passing through the metal anthem “Prologue” to the common ballade like “The Measure of All Things”. Although it doesn’t feel as if you’re listening to one continuous track, these pieces are far too average and poor in construction to catch your breath. Lyrically the emotional burden that should be portrayed by an album titled “Fears” doesn’t amount to an outstanding distinct dramatic resume. As for musical construction, creation or ingenuousness, this album lacks that specific je ne sais quoi to make it big. Although different from generic gothic metal groups, LORD OF THE LOST falls into that peculiar THE 69 EYES or TYPE O NEGATIVE section of the genre, however without the superlative feel to it. “Fears” is a good start for a newcomer and it does make this band promise to deliver more than this first release.

Album: Fears
Tracks: 13
Label: Out of Line Music GmbH
Release date: February 19th 2010
Recorded at: Studio777, Unum Studios & Little Big Ears Studio (Germany)
Produced by: Chris “The Lord” Harms
Track list:

  1. Last Words
  2. Break Your Heart
  3. Dry The Rain
  4. My Deepest Fear
  5. The Measure Of All Things
  6. Till Death Us Do Part
  7. Prologue
  8. Never Forgive
  9. To Die For
  10. Vicious Circle
  11. Not From This World
  12. Nothing Words Can Say
  13. Sooner Or Later

Chris Harms – Vocals, guitar
Sebsta – Guitar
Sensai – Guitar
Class – Bass
Any – Drums

LORD OF THE LOST Reverbnation
Label: Out of Line Music


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