Tenebre - Hearts Blood
Regain Records
Gothic Rock
10 songs (41'03")
Release year: 2006
Tenebre, Regain Records
Reviewed by Alex

I am going to discover little by saying music can convey a large range of emotions. Metal, and extreme music in general, has reserved many negative emotions to its own domain. Hate, anger, depression - all come through in many metal genres. Its gothic rock cousin, on the other hand, is more about love and, particularly, seduction.

Whatever metal style Swedish band Tenebre has been playing in the past, that era is gone now, and gothic attitudes reign supreme on Heart’s Blood. Personnel turnover temporarily settled, the band is coming out with its next installment on Regain and Candlelight Cult Series. Dark, male voice dominated and almost sensual gothic rock is what Tenebre presents on Heart’s Blood.

I do not appreciate much when music reviewers attempt to describe the sound by association, or at least when they feel they are obligated to give a compulsory comparison. In case of the latest Tenebre effort that would be simply unavoidable. Besides, if you are a fan of who I will be listing below you may well set your sights on Heart’s Blood.

For the first eight cuts Tenebre just keeps rolling, alternating higher or slower tempo songs set to quite simple rhythmic drumming and chock full of profound guitar hooks. The rhythms for some of the songs, in fact, are so simple (verse in Shine) you would think it is the drum machine doing the job, but Andreas is manning that unit. I am not going to make a secret out of it, but some of these choruses are quite “sticky”. They are like nougat on your teeth, tasting very sweet, but you ultimately want to get rid of them. You can’t help but be humming out motifs from Silver Flame and Mistress of the Dark in the shower. There are good leads here (Black Void Nirvana) and plenty electronic touches adding atmosphere in the margins. When the mood is right, and you just want to float off, or you want to impress the girlfriend with your sensuality, this music is right. Blue would get that girl for you every time.

The trouble is – we heard this all before, and many times at that as well. Fields of the Nephilim, Type O Negative and Sisters of Mercy (especially that chorus on Pray) are all very valid references. Even more specifically, Kalle sounds like Fernando Ribeiro (Moonspell) on Darkness and Hope trying to bring out velvet in his voice, so if that album, Tiamat’s Judas Christ and, especially, Sundown’s Design 19 ever appealed to you, be sure to check out Heart’s Blood. Moreover, because Matthias Lodmalm of Cemetary conceived Sundown he may be entitled to some royalties of Heart’s Blood seeing the similarities in style. As the album goes, continuing in the same vein, one song after another, albeit with very quality guitar work, it brings the impression down a bit.

The title track and the acoustic strum closer (Night Reborn) have awakened me, however. On the title track what starts as bluesy brood eventually turns into a full-scale stoner rock song, unlike anything else on the album, very fitting of the Sabbath tribute. More of the cuts like this would have increased my quote of Heart’s Blood. Otherwise, we have a solid gothic rock album with little to overtly criticize, but little to be overly excited about either.

Killing Songs :
Silver Flame, Mistress of the Dark, Black Void Nirvana, Heart's Blood
Alex quoted 72 / 100
Other albums by Tenebre that we have reviewed:
Tenebre - Electric Hellfire Kiss reviewed by Jack and quoted 80 / 100
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