Poisonblack - Lust Stained Despair
Century Media
Gothic Rock/Metal
12 songs (51:35)
Release year: 2006
Poisonblack, Century Media
Reviewed by Joe
Archive review

Sentenced is dead, but out of the ashes a phoenix has risen in the form of Poisonblack. If that’s not a cool analogy I don’t know what is. Ville Laihiala’s side project, Poisonblack, formally with Charon frontman J.P. Leppaluoto, is now the ex-Sentenced singer’s full time project. To be honest, I wasn't totally overjoyed with their first release Escapextasy, it had some good tracks but overall it wasn't really much to sing about. With that in mind, I didn’t really know what to expect from Poisonblack’s latest Lust Stained Despair, now with Laihiala on vocals and lead guitar, but to say I was impressed would be an understatement. This album flows so well, with almost hard rock leanings but still with that undeniable Finnish goth metal sound. I’ve always been a fan of Laihiala’s vocals in Sentenced and also loved the music to a great degree, so I was hoping it would be the same case with Poisonblack and luckily, it is. Of course there is still a Sentenced-ish vibe in there, but that seems unavoidable really. I think Laihiala struggled a bit with vocals at certain times on Sentenced's last release The Funeral Album, but maybe he has taken singing lessons because he sounds so much better on Lust Stained Despair. J.P. Leppaluoto is still a great singer and is fantastic with Charon, but there's no doubt Laihiala's rough voice matches the music perfectly on this particular album. To distance themselves from the throng of gothic rock/metal coming out of Finland, of which I like basically everything, Poisonblack have taken a different approach. Not quite as doomy and gloomy as say Entwine or To Die For, Poisonblack is overtly rockier and faster than it’s counterparts. Don’t get the wrong idea though, this is still very heavy and that unmistakable Finnish touch to it.

The album starts off with an absolute killer Nothing Else Remains, with a fantastic melody that makes good use of the two guitars, a trait that continues through out the album. Most songs remain in the faster, rockier vain, like the fantastic single Rush, which is undoubtedly the best song on the album, containing a knock-out riff and plenty of change-ups. The use of sexual innuendo on Rush and Nail is quite cool and different to the doom and gloom topics normally present in Finnish music. The emotional lyrics also play a big part on Lust Stained Despair and are very different from Sentenced, which is necessary I feel. Soul In Flames, Raivotar and Never Enough are equally as dynamic and deserve your headbanging attention, as do all songs on the album, bar the acoustic track Pain Becomes Me, a beautifully written ballad which is literally dripping with emotion.

One thing I noticed was the drumming was very precise and to the point (I realise that's what all drummers are supposed to do). Tarmo Kanerva pounds the skins and uses plenty of crash symbols, which suits the songs very well. The occasional use of keyboards adds great background harmonies and the odd solo in there reminded me of Figure No.5 from Soilwork. In fact, the use of twin guitars and the overall sound on the album reminded me of Swedish melodic deathsters Soilwork and Clayman era In Flames. The remaining songs, The Darkest Lie, Hollow Be My Name, Nail, The Living Dead, Love Controlled Despair and the limited edition bonus track Bleeding Into You all have a slight mid-paced feel to them but are equally as heavy and fantastic.

There’s enough variety and change-ups during the songs to keep you entertained for the 51 minutes and it's very different from other goth metal bands around at the moment, fantastic album cover as well. It’s rockin, it’s heavy, it’s dark, it’s emotional, it’s absolutely great.

Killing Songs :
Rush, Soul In Flames, The Darkest Lie, Nothing Else Remains
Joe quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by Poisonblack that we have reviewed:
Poisonblack - A Dead Heavy Day reviewed by Jerrol and quoted 72 / 100
Poisonblack - Escapexstacy reviewed by Alex and quoted 96 / 100
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