1. At the End of World
2. Circus on the Moon
3. Here comes the Rain
4. A Song to say Goodnight
6. After All
9. The Black Cat
10. To Be Mine
11. We’ll Never Die
12. A Vlad’s Tale
In todays music scene, which is continuing to repeat itself ever and ever again, people are looking for new innovations in sound. Not all cause most of the people are happy to consume the standards, but isn’t it more satisfying to find a band, an album with fresh ideas and also showing musically talent ? If you can deal with that and if you are not living in a strictly metal music corset than you should listen to this third release of italians Vlad in Tears.
Formed back in 2005 the press counts the band to the gothic music scene and since the early years they toured a lot around the world. So with that they earned a fast growing experience and the world more and more noticed them. Now with the third release „Welcome to Vladyland“ the band can hit their breakthrough?
If you take a look on the album artwork and booklet first you could think about if this band is a funny or horror one. Illustrations that reflect the bands and albums name. Crazy artworks that shows the mix of circus (rock’n roll circus?) and horror. Transylvanian winds blow here.
But I am here to talk about the main interest…and thats the music. So if your favourites lie in brutal black or death metal bands and if you are not willing to let bands in your mind that doesn’t count to the regular metal scene…skip to the next review.
All people who are interested in bands that play mainstream music rockin’ style or AOR…stay here and read.
With a sequence of ghost tunes it starts in „At the End of World“. Simple guitar (partly sampled) played by Lex underline the rockin base of Vlad in Tears. The warm and high voice of Kris is the first thing that let you have a good vibe. Partly performed as a narrator he can be counted to the upper class of Hard Rock or AOR vocalists. Peppered with some alternative sounds and always with the ghost theme in the back this is a straight rock track full of harmonies and a great refrain.
Now we welcome you to the „Circus on the Moon“. This is where the narrator invites us at the beginning combined with typical circus hurdy gurdy. Beatles like bridge to another amazing refrain.
The narrator appears again and the scene becomes more chaotic. The band performance gets harder in the end. Hear the scream of Kris that provides his great volume in voice. This is Rock’n Roll circus !
Dancefloor parts open „Here comes the rain“. The vocal arrangements remember a little to Sting or even the old pop icon Howard Jones. But the guitars keep it away from being a pop song. Melodic rock song with some computer samples, narrator vocals and speedy played.
A musical clock…“A Song to say Goodnight“. Kris uses again the element of anchorman vocals that comes out of your radios. This is the best song to bring your kids to bed. A cradle song that I wished my parents used it if I was a kid. Ok..some would call it a normal ballad. I call it a cradle song that is legitimated as part of the concept.
Who is Mary ? Don’t know…but I know that the song titled „Mary“ starts again with dancefloor computer parts. But after that the hardest guitar parts so far follow. Like old Sentenced. The vocals again can proof the high level. The band experiments with echoes behind the voice. The refrain is catchy as hell and remembers me to a band called The Outfield from the 80’s.
Now we are heading to fields of chanson. A rock’n roll chanson…cool ! In alliance with some circus sounds, trumpets and other instruments this song invites you to dance the charleston with it. But when the rockin’ guitars appear you soon will have some knots in your feet. In this song we also find a kind of guitar solo, weird played, for the first time. A song made for all the rock’n roll dancefloors of the world. You cannot do anything else than…dance !!
Is Vlad in Tears only „Pretending“ ? Quiet, balladesque start together with computer sounds. Seems that only the guitars and vocals are real. A dreamful song with a nice screaming vocal/guitar part in the end. This is for all the ladies…you will like it. And I think not only the ladies…
The narrator is back….“Redemption“ has some fun park vibes first before the song moves to a great rocker. Ok…the programmed synth parts slow it down to pop music fields. But the interplay between pop and rock riffs offers innovating sounds and music feelings. That’s why we want if we try to explore new and fresh music. Open minded people will love it, some others will hate it. Who cares ? Vlad in Tears do a very great job…point.
Are you thinking about a spell or bad omen if „The Black Cat“ is crossing your ways ? Well…some will be superstitious…some not. Violins at the beginning simulates that walking black cat. Has the black cat ever been told that she is the reason of bad omens ? Slow, swinging song with breaking guitars before and in the refrain. Again a shredding guitar solo in the middle. I think Vlad in Tears want their listeners to dance a lot. Best style here…waltz. Rock’n Roll waltz…take you lady and conquer the floor.
„To be mine“ remembers me first to 80’s wave heroes A Flock of Seagulls. Guitars always played in the same height during the song. Only in the slower parts in the back. The vocals are mostly whispered except the refrain. Light piano in the back rounds it up. Midtempo rocker with ballad breaks.
Nearly the same song structure in „We’ll never die“. Here the band shows again what they stand for…intelligent songwriting. Slow parts share with uptempo parts. Samples in alliance with pure handmade rock. A rock smasher with a breeze of pop elements.
Vampires will never die..cause they are dead. But Vlad in Tears lives !! I was really surprised listening to „Welcome to Vladyland“. My expectations if I saw the artwork and songtitles first were…ambivalent.
If I told at the beginning of this review…when you are open minded to find new innovations in rock music away from typical music corsets you are absolutely right listening or better buying that album.
The concept of Vlad in Tears is a little about the beauty and the beast. Artwork, booklet and image are representing the beast, the music the beauty. An album for real music lovers. Rock meets pop in a positive way with it’s strength in songwriting and arrangements and the real amazing voice of Kris.
The only reason why I give the album „only“ 8 points is, that I am sure the band got some potential left to create a real signature one and some songs are sounding like others. Here the band could spread their innovations a bit more.
If you can deal with that…give Vlad in Tears a chance. This band can make it to become a big number in this music genre. Great work, guys !!
Points 8 /10
Review by Kerbinator