I was scanning our weekly review output and figured that there are quite a few of what might be called “non-metal” albums. Perhaps it is one of those weeks when we have to be getting things off our chest, since Bloodflowerz can’t be called metal either. However, Dark Love Poems is the last thing you’d call experimental music, as here we have on display unabashed pop-music spruced gothic rock. A wonderful genre, if quick musical taste buds satisfaction and radio-friendliness is the order of the day.
There is hardly middle ground for me when it gets to gothic rock. I can either enjoy it, in the right state of mind, and there is evidence of that in my music collection, or totally detest it, if melodies and catchiness are substituted with ugly pretense. Thus, gothic rock reviews are pretty easy to write in my book.
Bloodflowerz are a German band, with their debut coming out in 2002, and they epitomize the melodic gothic rock genre. Short, to the point, verse-chorus structured rock songs, with lots of keyboards and synthesizers woven in, and sweet female vocals to complete the picture. If you liked the chorus’ hook, you pretty much approve the song. At the end you compare the number of the songs you considered a “pass” vs those you labeled a “skip” and the final quote derives itself.
Yes, there are a few songs on Dark Love Poems I felt were a little too bland and repetitive (The Last Dance, Violent Voices). But Bloodflowerz are definitely not terrible, and their songwriting skills are quite decent. Besides, they provide for a variety by starting Illusionary Fields with flute/oboe, experiment with an almost obligatory Eastern melody in Anthem for a Stranger and thread the whole song around the violin line in The Fool and the King. Not satisfied with synthesizers only, Bloodflowerz introduce classical piano in Dark Angel, which alongside those female, clear as a bell, semi-seductive vocals sounds Abbaesque. In other words, there is enough variety on Dark Love Poems to move the album along, song to song.
In another approach, more sensual songs (Healing Hearts) alternate with heavier ones (Illusionary Fields). Of course, “heavy” in Bloodflowerz hands is a relative term. Guitars are providing more pronounced choppy chords, but alongside “I could touch your skin, but not your heart” lyrics, it puts a wry smile on my face. Thus, Kirsten’s claims of “successfully killing reality” in Queen of the Freakshow also sound a little silly when the rest of the music carries a happier decor. There just isn’t much “darkness” about these “love poems”.
Very respectable quality, decent production (although I’d prefer to push the drums just a touch higher in the mix) and a couple of decent guitar solos, Bloodflowerz should not be lost on you if once in a while you sampled and liked numerous Finnish goth rock bands, The Crest, Crematory or the late On Thorns I Lay (violin department is a cause for this comparison).
Here is an album which younger dudes who are much more into extreme metal could safely put on to impress the girlfriend with a more sensitive melodic touch.
Killing Songs :
Healing Hearts, The Fool and the King
|Alex quoted 67 / 100|
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