Nov 2013 11

Lovelorn Dolls - The House of WondersLovelorn Dolls
Genre: Goth / Metal / Electro
Album: The House of Wonders
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: Despite the lack of any memorable hooks, this clearly talented band paints a luscious fantasy world.


You may not have heard Lovelorn Dolls, a German band who only debuted two years ago, but it sounds like the band could’ve been touring for years. The band often tries to evoke imagery of the likes of The Birthday Massacre – a front woman with black bobbed hair in striped stockings surrounded by men in white shirts and ties, top hats, and violet and black fantasy imagery. No band can be faulted for hoping to tap into the twisted fantasy world TBM has painstakingly created and neither would it be fair to simply write Lovelorn Dolls off as simply a shadow of another band. While the influence is clear, so is the band’s ability musically to genuinely capture the brooding essence of modern synthpop/rock that makes it so appealing. It’s not hard to dress up as Lewis Carroll’s Alice and play a synthesizer over a rhythm guitar, but to capture in your music the intangible essence of gothic fantasy is quite another matter entirely.

Musically, Lovelorn Dolls has less in common with its Alfa Matrix brethren as it does with guitar-based female fronted acts like Lacuna Coil and Evanescence. In place of synthetic arpeggios over synthpop rhythms are flowing guitars more common in rock and metal. It’s a pleasant blend where Ladyhell’s voice paints a touchingly somber fantasy world of violets and blues. The music has continuity and cohesiveness and the production quality is professional but fails to completely forfeit the dreaminess that normally only comes with a certain level of underproduction. Large reverbs push Ladyhell’s voice to every edge of the sonic spectrum and washes over the guitar in a gentle waterfall.

While Lovelorn Dolls is clearly full of skilled musicians and the production quality is high, the guitar and lack of electronic elements somewhat fatigue the ear. Also, while a very good album, no song particularly sticks out. There are a few memorable hooks, but the guitar work is unimpressive and constant, and there are no real leads to speak of except the melodic tones of Ladyhell’s caterwauling. You won’t find yourself humming any tracks from this album while stuck in traffic, and you’re not likely to fall in love; that is until you hear “No-Life.” This and the songs that precede it would be as at home on the radio as in the playlists of the underground scene.

Head-bobbing synthesizers, interesting guitar fills, and grooving choruses, these songs prove the potential Lovelorn Dolls has as a rock band, if only it could find the strength to overcome the urge to fall into the trap of easy and lucrative bland radio rock. This album proves the band is at the crossroads of that choice and only time will tell the path to be chosen.
Track list:
Disc 1 (Standard)

  1. House of Wonders (Intro)
  2. After Dark
  3. Purple
  4. Save Me from Myself
  5. Mother of the Universe
  6. Frozen Inside
  7. Aux Dieux
  8. No-Life
  9. Feel Myself with You
  10. Inside My Head
  11. Euphoria
  12. In Your Room
  13. Rats
  14. Final Curtain (Outro)

Disc 2 (Deluxe)

  1. Save Me from Myself (Unplugged Version)
  2. After Dark (Junksista Deathproof Remix)
  3. Purple (Helalyn Flowers Remix)
  4. Mother of the Universe (HellSector Mix)
  5. After Dark (Essence of Mind Remix)
  6. No-Life (Diffuzion Remix)
  7. Purple (Psy’Aviah Remix)
  8. After Dark (Mari Chrome Remix)
  9. No-Life (Acylum Remix)
  10. Aux Dieux (Implant Remix)
  11. No-Life (Diskonnekted Remix)

Lovelorn Dolls Website
Lovelorn Dolls Facebook
Lovelorn Dolls Twitter
Lovelorn Dolls Bandcamp
Alfa Matrix Website
Alfa Matrix MySpace
Alfa Matrix Facebook
Alfa Matrix Twitter
Alfa Matrix Bandcamp
Purchase at:
Amazon CD (Standard)
Amazon CD (Deluxe)
Amazon MP3
Bandcamp (Deluxe)
John Spranza (JSpranza)

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