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Vlad In Tears - Unbroken (2016) - Review

Band: Vlad In Tears
Album title: Unbroken
Release date: 19 August 2016
Label: NoCut Entertainment (SPV)

01. Blame Yourself
02. Massive Slayer
03. Burn Inside
04. Lies
05. Don’t Let Us Fall
06. Okay
07. Far Away
08. Over Again
09. Still Here
10. My Shade
11. Dew
12. Slave
13. Broken Bones
14. We’re Done
15. Still Here (Piano Version)

I never really gave much of an attention to this formerly Italian, now based in Germany, band named Vlad In Tears. Of course I gave a listen to some of their songs before but it never grabbed me for real. Judging from the name if you never heard their music you could expect to hear some sort of vampiristic goth but it's not like that, the band offers some kind of alternative/glam/dark rock/metal that is influenced mostly by Suomi rock/metal school and on the first listen I believe that it's that kind of music which will more than anything appeal to some not very demanding emo teenagers, if they still exists somewhere. The band never really made any kind of major breakthrough, even if they are active since 2007 and released already five albums, including the new one Unbroken, but I think that now things might change. The band debuted in 2008 with the album Seed Of An Ancient Pain which already proved that the band has a lot of potential, but they showed much more progress already on their previous eponymous album released two years ago. 

On Unbroken Vlad In Tears are more focused into what they do than ever, the sound became much more dynamic and modern. Imagine a mixture between Dope Stars Inc. and Lord Of The Lost, then add some To/Die/For, Shamrain, Negative, a pinch of Poisonblack, HIM, drop of Charon and I think you are almost there. Unbroken clocks in at almost one hour, it has some ups and downs, but to tell you the truth this is one hell of a dynamic and highly energetic album. It might be a bit too much sterile after all, productional wise, even a bit too organic, but I quite enjoyed hearing those metallic guitar rifs in tracks like it's the opener "Blame Yourself" or in the hit single "Burn Inside" to name a few. Also the addition of hammond organ sound fits well when used. Of course you can't miss some melancholic piano touches, especially in ballads like "Still Here (Piano Version)" or in the very emotional and atmospheric "Dew". The sound in more groovy tracks is quite dense, rich and there are plenty of catchy melodies combined with strong vibrant rhythmic lines, with a special accent on cranky yet playful and most of all solid bass lines. Vlad In Tears can be very energetic when going into full blast with some kind of a punkish power. They know how to add some depth with use of gothy keys and electronic samples here and there, just give a listen to melancholic "Don't Let Us Fall" or to "My Shade", and you'll know what I mean. The band also knows how to ruin everything when toying around with some modern cyber childish pop/punk in "Lies" or in "Okay". But this after all only proves that this band knows no limits.

The main man, frontman Kris Vlad, is the central figure of Vlad In Tears' music. He perfectly drives the band with his dynamic flamboyant voice which can be powerful, energetic, emotional, melancholic, even harsh when most needed. Vlad In Tears in those fifteen tracks show two faces, one is coherent, serious and extremely haunting, while the other one is a bit childish, shown also by their visual appearance, but I won't judge that, never did. Still, this album offers a lot and can be appealing to a larger palette of different listeners. If you are able to extract tracks that fits you the most than it can be a pretty enjoyable listen, maybe a bridge between two more demanding things. I belive that some of those tracks would be perfect when played live, I can already imagine the band performing some of the tracks with sing along choruses and how dark minded rebellious teenagers scream in ecstasy. Nevertheless, this time the band paid more attention than ever to harder, louder and more driving sound. Well done Vlad In Tears!

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 7/10