SadDolls - Grave Party

SadDolls - Grave Party
Artist: 
SadDolls
Release: 
Grave Party
Label: 
Inverse Records

SADDOLLS is a Greek gothic rock/ metal band residing in Athens, Greece and one of the most well-known local bands of this style, with quite a number of faithful and devoted followers; which is quite remarkable for a relatively fresh band. For those of you that you are exposed to this band for the first time, I suggest that we head back into the band’s past discography in search for more information. Their first release is dated in 2007 in the form of an EP, called Dead in the Dollhouse. Their first full length About Darkness followed in 2009 and Happy Deathday in 2012. Come 2014, SADDOLLS invite us in a mysterious, dark setting where their Grave Party will take place, let’s examine it.

The album starts with a simple introduction entitled ‘Rave to the Grave’ before serving the main dish named ‘Lady Cry’. From the very first listen, it’s noticeable that the band has really have hardened its sound, the riffs are powerful and the singer’s voice amazing voice, which is of course to their advantage but, to me, it also causes something like a boomerang effect. In any case, this song is really exceptional and George Downloved is really improving every piece with his surprisingly melodic and melancholic voice. The industrial elements really caught me off guard and the overall production is very well-worked; it is apparent that SADDOLLS have the Finnish scene in their blood, even from their first steps them, but here we encounter some newly added ingredients that guarantee a really good record. ‘Terminate Me’ continues with the industrial parts bringing PAIN or RAMMSTEIN into mind but the combination of clean and harsh vocals reminisce Dani of CRADLE OF FILTH. The outcome is successful and once can say for sure that the band has not only become heavier but they have matured musically as well.

‘Bleed Sister Bleed’ is a melancholic but powerful song with perfect harmony; everything is exactly as it should making it an enjoyable song from start to finish. ‘Dancing Shadows’ is heavy on industrial elements and crazy riffs in addition to the perfect voice and the catchy chorus make it even better. Next the tones are lowered a little bit with ‘Suicide Girl’. Some may say it sounds corny but who cares about what others say; the song is really decent. ‘The Last Valentine’ continues  the simplistic structure with emotional ups and downs, lengthy sighs arousing  nostalgia and melancholy; the female backing vocals add enough power to not make it sound too mainstream. ‘Creeping Skies’ is a dark metal song, very well-placed in the track list, coming after the moody break with smashing riffs and drums.

‘Angels Making Love (In the Dark)’ is more relaxing, with synthop influences and mainstream rock sounds, making a 180 degrees turn in direction without losing an ounce of their power and energy. The grotesque ‘Sexy and Undead’ continues exactly in the aforementioned powerful vein, blasting at full speed continues gaining momentum, balancing between metal and Finnish gothic rock. The band’s authenticity and new ideas are ever present, producing freshness to a scene that seems to have stagnated for far too long.

In ‘You Make Me Feel Like Nothing’ the keyboards are really decorating all the bits and pieces, adding significant depth with their layering it seems that something is lost within the  whole picture. The problem is located in the vocals which are constantly shifting from glam to screaming, tied with added female singing make the song really confusing to my ears. While the melody and the energy of the song pervade, the vocals seem to disorient the listening session. On ‘Road 66’ the band is thankfully back on track, the vocals are the driving force in this down tempo which is reminiscent of TIAMAT, something that I really liked in this song.

In all due fairness, I would like to say that SADDOLLS really won me over with the album. I was not expecting so much energy, freshness; new ideas, amazing production and I also noticed a vast improvement in the vocal performance. It seems that the band is now ready to achieve bigger things outside the borders of our small country, if they focus on the promotion of the album and with some assistance of their label in order to demand the place they deserve in the musical map. Their influences vary from HIM, TIAMAT, PARADISE LOST, GRADLE OF FILTH to older bands such as SISTERS and DEPECHE MODE, and with a nod to industrial bands like RAMMSTEIN and PAIN. All these bands have armed SADDOLLS which are now ready to embark on their own journey, crafting their own ideas and original compositions.  I highly recommend Grave Party to everyone. They won me up despite my cautiousness, so make sure you give this album a chance because it is really worth it.

 

Tracklist:
1. Rave to the Grave
2. Lady Cry
3. Terminate Me
4. Bleed Sister Bleed
5. Dancing Shadows
6. Suicide Girl
7. The Last Valentine
8. Creeping Skies
9. Angels Making Love (In the Dark)
10. Sexy and Undead
11. You Make Me Feel Like Nothing
12. On the Road 66

 8.5/10  Kostas Sotiriou

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