Lovelorn Dolls - DEADTIME STORIES ( Alfa Matrix)

  Van Muylem    25 mei 2024

Belgium’s very own female-fronted goth metal pop act LOVELORN DOLLS took a 5-year break, during which Kristell transformed into the photographer/visual artist Kristell In Wonderland, exhibiting across Europe. An experience that inspired the explosive comeback of LOVELORN DOLLS.

Hailing from Brussels – Belgium, LOVELORN DOLLS is the artistic expression of the duo Kristell (lyrics, vocals, arrangements) and Bernard (music, programming, guitars, production). The duo is signed to the Belgian label Alfa Matrix.

Just how childhood can get drawn into a fantasy world, LOVELORN DOLLS lead you into an extraordinary, dark but romantic universe where Tim Burton's visuals collide against the glam touch of THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE or yet the extravaganza of a MARILYN MANSON. A landscape where creepy cute meets gothic rock music.

Back with their 4th album, “Deadtime Stories”, LOVELORN DOLLS embrace a stronger identity – creepy cute ambiance, eerie Tim Burton-esque scenes, guitar-driven sounds, catchy dark melodies, childlike synths, industrial tones, and Kristell's distinctive voice, all boldly and fully embraced.

The title "Deadtime Stories" is a cynical play on words, referencing children's rhymes with a dark twist. Each song delves into themes of death, endings, suicide, broken dreams, loss, and the perilous allure of fame. The artwork cover perfectly encapsulates this, depicting a lonely girl reading in a cemetery fog.

Produced by Maxx Maryan (HELALYN FLOWERS, IMJUDAS), the band also surprises with guest appearances, including DERO GOI, ex-singer of OOMPH!, in the duet "Dancing at Your Funeral," co-produced and co-written by Goi. The other guest is VVITCHBOY, an American Gothic rapper, featured on the energetic and enchanting track "Death & Glory".

Now let's focus on the review:

Once Upon A Time is a short intro that refers a bit to the old but famous series of The Twilight Zone (hence I was a back fan, despite getting only it in Black and White, yeah, it’s that old but super creepy).

A Heart Cries is the first real song and sounds very explosive and invasive: what a sound! It’s clear that the guy behind the desk in the studio is a master crafter! This song has to become a single! Listen to the global sound, listen closer to the electronic drum, the guitar play and the vocals …

Death & Glory (feat witchboy) has a different and harsher sound, thank to the guest! It’s a nice one and cool to have this kind of variation here. I adore the Batcave sound and the gothic rap parts!

Beautiful Chaos has already been launched as a single and is a heavy hitter with a great chorus. The sound dances between gothic rock and Industrial rock.

To be honest: I expected a bit more from this one when I read the Broken Dreams. But hey, it must be my fantasy going in overdrive. The sound is ok, maybe I had too much expected from it.

Another Night On Earth sounds sweeter and softer however the guitars sound a bit like rambling and the synthesizer tries to sound by moments really loud and heavy.

Dreamworld is another song that has been getting played already for a while. The sound is good, the lyrics are a bit sad, but I adore the global feel and yest it’s part of my own playlist!

Dancing At Your Funeral (featdero goi) is another one that sounds a bit like out of the box for this band. But somehow the chemistry here is non existing: it sounds like some people acting next to each other without any connection (and some of the sound is a bit too close to Depeche Mode).

Little Creatures sounds a bit chaotic with a guitar on the loose and vocals that sound a bit too sharp. It’s not the best track on this album, sorry to write it down like this.

The Ghost On The Hill is a good song with a nice chorus, but nothing that really stays for a long time inside my head.

Diary Of Nothing is a nice rocker with a heavy sound and good vocals. It’s the right end track, but it isn’t the end track, so skip the outro and the intro.

The End is the outro and never understood why an intro and outro was needed.

Well this new album is an ok album, heard a few good tracks, some fillers and a globally a good sound (thumbs up for the studio work). I’m pretty sure the fans will be delighted. I’m not sure there will be a lot of fuzz created with the launch as I feel that the past years this band somehow found a spot in the shadows of other bands rather then diving into the bright light and reach out more.