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Interesting mix of BM and clean melodic rock / pop - 80%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, April 24th, 2007

Hmm, it's an interesting formula that this band has used: the harsh noisy guitar textures and occasional raspy vocals of BM, a melodic rock / pop structured approach, some plaintive piano melodies, maybe some recordings of classical music, clean deep and sombre vocals reminiscent of Andrew Eldritch of the UK goth band Sisters of Mercy, and spoken word passages combined to produce a kind of post-rock / slight shoegazer music describing the bleakness, cruelty and loneliness of modern urban life and landscapes. "Erotik" features 12 songs most of which boast very strong and hummable melodies and rhythms with a tension arising from putting together the beautiful and simple pure piano tones and other clean and melodic elements with the rough BM guitar showers. I'm not convinced though that Lifelover have quite got the balance right for a music that portrays how hard and lonely city life can be: the harsher, bleaker elements are too much in the background in many songs and the production throughout the recording is clean when perhaps it should be clean in some songs and blurry and atmospheric in others. The music also moves pretty fast and this tends to make the piano and other non-BM elements a bit bright and perky. Even songs that are meant to be melancholy ("Hostdepressioner" to take one example) are fairly brisk and don't convey the sense of sadness very well.

The BM elements in many songs are limited to light showers of noise guitar and only one song "I Love (To Hurt You)" - lovely song title, that - features harsh distorted singing. It's left to the final track "Nitlott" to really bare Lifelover's powerful BM fangs which is a pity - why don't they show this terror earlier in the album and throughout it as well? Makes you wonder.

The mixed singing styles which include spoken word are an interesting touch. Lifelover could make the mixed singing a central part of their style. The clean singing and the spoken word usually alternate so only one style dominates each song but it would be more interesting to have both or several styles of singing on the one song, this would elevate and bring out the tension in the textures of the music more. We'll have to wait for a follow-up album to see if they can do this.

All the songs, especially the songs in the first half of the album, are very memorable and could be potential singles should Lifelover pitch this album to a more mainstream / commercial music market. (This might mean ditching "Nitlott".) Tracks like "Sweet Illness of Mine" and "Dodens Landsvag" which feature those Sisters of Mercy-styled vocals have strong catchy riffs and rhythms, and are tight and self-contained: just right for singles material. Another good track is "Besatt" which has a strong bluesy guitar sound which Lifelover could have used more on the album.

Overall the music is very good if rather slanted too much towards the clean, melodic and not-very-atmospheric side of things and needing a more varied and at times more muddied production. Lifelover could have drawn more on their BM background to achieve a really dark gritty urban feel and create some very desolate urban yet still melodic dark art.The band has a lot of potential to be an original BM crossover band and should not have to compromise its vision too much for the sake of satisfying record label bean counters.