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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2017

01. Lacrimosa
- Testimonium
02. Sólstafir
- Berdreyminn
03. Soror Dolorosa
- Apollo
04. Ulver
- The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
05. Myrkur
- Mareridt
06. Sun Of The Sleepless
- To The Elements
07. Moonspell
- 1755
08. Au Champ Des Morts
- Dans La Joie
09. Andras
- Reminiszenzen...
10. Svartsinn
- Mørkets Variabler


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SadDoLLs - Blood Of A Kind (2017) - Review

Band: SadDoLLs
Album title: Blood Of A Kind
Release date: 31 March 2017
Label: Trisol Music Group

01. Dunkelstein
02. Creep It Into You
03. Cold Blood Inside
04. Zombie Love
05. Sex In Church
06. Kiss You In Hell
07. Pale white Dracula
08. Die Better
09. Misery Revisited

Three years after the release of Grave Party, which helped them gain quite some fame on the scene, Greek darkwave/dark metal band SadDoLLs are back in black with their newest effort entitled Blood Of A Kind. Their latest accomplishment is nothing less than an evolutionary logical continuation of the predeceasing full length and with years and experience the band has yet again matured a bit, polished their sound and released their best album so far. It is no secret SadDoLLs's sound was and still is akin to the one of HIM, Poisonblack, The 69 Eyes, Entwine, Type O Negative and Deathstars, just to name a few and the influence of aforementioned bands is still very much present on their latest release. However Blood Of A Kind has its own story, heart and soul.

Defining SadDoLLs was never an easy task, as their music is constantly flowing between darkwave, dark metal, gothic metal and suomi rock in addition to flirting with EBM and more danceable, electronic dark tunes. While guitars are straightforward, well apparent and deliver even some very edgy and surprisingly heavy guitar riffs, the core of Blood Of A Kind are very strong and emotional synth-born melodies, alongside the deep and diverse vocal work of the band's frontman George Downloved. As the song titles vividly portray, the album lyrically deals with ghastly stories, vampires, supernatural forces, mysticism and of course a lot of melancholic, dark romanticism. "Dunkelstein", an opening track with a vile and tenebrous title as the title itself suggests depicts extremely horror-esque and alluring atmosphere and therefore immediately catches one's attention. The very dense use of organ sounding keyboards creates very entrancing and sacrilege ambient and thus momentarily reminds of acts such as Theatres Des Vampires, Moonspell and even Cradle of Filth. To take a wild twist, "Creep Into You" and "Die Better" both somehow flow in the vein of goth n roll's finest, The 69 Eyes in their prime – era of Blessed Be, Paris Kills and Angels, as it holds a very strong goth rock reference and passionate emotional charge. "Cold Blood Inside" though, still makes us think SadDoLLs hadn't completely burned the bridge between them and Finnish love metal masters HIM (as they did start out as HIM cover band, in case you have forgotten), as the title so obviously reminds of their track "Love In Cold Blood" from their 2007 album Venus Doom. However, putting the title aside, this is undoubtedly album's finest moment; its melody is just so romantically smooth, velvet and at the same time as it is cold and dark, it is also warm and radiant. Its heart aching and gloomy atmosphere creates such beautiful soundscapes, so when come to think the song almost didn't make it to the album, because the band felt it was too reminiscent to "On The Road 66" from their previous album, it is safe to say they dodged a bullet by not making that decision. The other track worth mentioning that is definitely sticking out is the dance anthem of the album, "Zombie Love", which is probably the most catchy song the band has made in their entire decade lasting career so to speak. Its groovy tune is simply addictive and it will stick in your mind, whether you want it or not. Just so to stir up things just a wee bit more, with "Sex In Church" and "Misery Revisited" SadDoLLs are exposing their heavier, dirtier side, so not everything revolves around sweet melancholy and endless romantics.

While Blood Of A Kind may not excel in originality, this album shows immense progression, as the songs are much more memorable, crisp and elegant as on their previous works. It has a strong story and this story is delivered with immense strength and endless passion. Needless to say, SadDoLLs have shown us they have grown and matured in the 10 years of existence, but still have much to show. I hope that Blood Of A Kind is not a closure to the first decade of the band, but a beginning of a new era in their music, as it delivers a sound worth exploring further.

Review written by: Ines
Rating: 7,5/10


Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Ahab
Album title: The Boats Of The Glen Carrig
Release date: 28 August 2015
Label: Napalm Records

With The Boats Of The Glen Carrig, the band seems to leave their typical funeral doom metal style behind them. There's much more emphasis on the atmosphere, driving metal lines and let's say the band discovered its progressive side, which nicely complements with heavy slow crushing riffs, punishing drums, wretched bass and guttural death vocals, maybe one of the best in this genre. There's often present a certain dose of humour in Ahab's output, even though being well hidden behind the explicit use of psychedelic, sludge and horror elements, but yet you can sense it anyway. Ahab this time composed their boldest album to date, it's not the darkest one they ever made but still there are almost no light moments. The Boats Of The Glen Carrig is not an easy album to consume, it's a complex work, more than anything else these Germans ever did. They used a much larger palette of different elements and they put those together with perfection. Ahab's obsession with depths of the ocean and sea, with epic adventures, with anything drenched and salty, this time got a truly monolithic form and is the pitch perfect mood setting.

Read a full review HERE