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Ville Valo you ain't - 20%

doomknocker, November 12th, 2009

As stated before in a few different reviews, my curiousity at times gets the better of me when it comes to certains bands and certain albums. I've already espoused the glories of finding MORBID ANGEL and OPETH out of sheer luck, but I've never really brought up the uglier side of the spectrum, where one goes record shopping, finds an album of potential excellence, puts it in and is thunderstruck by a definative lack of excellence.

Like this little doozy.

Upon checking this out I had no idea what kind of trouble I'd end up being in, and honestly wasn't sure of what to expect. With every fiber of my being I never would have expected half-assed, whiny, sub-par goth rock with a metallic twinge the likes of the which would set many a Heartagram aflutter. For what it's worth these guys don't tread original or even entertainingly-unoriginal waters but instead dive headfirst into a Hot Topic symphomaniac's dream, obviously perverted by the likes of H.I.M. and newer-era SENTENCED. What good points I can give this work only really end up being about the album's production, which is pristine and rather punchy, and the keyboards and their up-front approach, using its vague elegance to outdo the rather mundane guitar and bass riffing that are just sorta there and act as a simple foundation than anything of extreme importance. Drumwork is harmless and rockish, plugging along rather simple mid-tempo beats that don't get in the way of the overall approach. But once the vocalist starts with his off-key, cry-me-a-river warbling, it's like musical assassination. Every other successive listen has only made me feel even more angst towards this joker and the way his vocal complaints bog down the overall musical approach. Such an ipacac-esque combination is shown in bitter spades in the likes of "Losing The Ground", "New Dawn", and "Thru the Darkness", in which the goth approach comes off as hackneyed and materialistic, far more "Pretty Hate Machine" than "Dark Shadows".

So in the end this wasn't as good an album as I would've hoped for. This wasn't even good, period. Just further proof that for every good Finnish band there's an evil twin out there lurking in any one of the Thousand Lakes. Avoid like FALL OUT BOY.