Lord of the Lost – Swan Songs III (Napalm)Wednesday, 5th August 2020
The third in the line of classical ensembles for the gothic act Lord of the Lost, this is the type of release that many will walk into knowing if they will enjoy it or not. Given that they’ve done this twice before, there are plenty that applaud the efforts of hearing Chris Harms’ identifiable croons accompanied by strings, piano, and acoustic guitar. While it’s obviously on the quieter side of things, there’s no question in that it’s beautifully done.
With much of what Lord of the Lost seems to put out, they manage to balance both quality and quantity. Swan Songs III, as in the past releases, combines brand new material and some classical reimagining of some of their studio tracks. In looking at the first disc, which is the new material, it really showcases how well Harms’ vocals go along with the musical ensemble. A strong opening in “A Splintered Mind” starts things off, with a somewhat upbeat feeling (with a bit of gloom of course) and a sweeping chorus that showcases what the album is all about. “One Ton Heart” continues things along nicely as a fantastic ballad that skirts the cheese and goes right for the feels. Some other standout tracks are the downtrodden, ‘light in the darkness’ track “Hurt Again,” poignant and uplifting “We Were Young” which features an impressive choral arrangement, and the rollicking goth rock without the heaviness that resides in “Unfeel.” The second disc of redone Lord of the Lost cuts carries all of the same emotional weight as the first disc, but the clear stand out is the 18-minute epic “Letters to Home,” which feels like a mini-EP in and of itself, with a shining cinematic quality to it that should enamor fans.
The Swan Song collection that Lord of the Lost has continue to build sits just as strongly as their dark rock discography. The combination of classical instrumentation and the gloomy vocals of Chris Harms’ is a soaring combination that never fails to resonate emotionally with the listener. Not to mention the crossover appeal that this has for the act in reaching some folks that may consider their gothic rock/metal energy a bit too much, but can easily sink their teeth into the beauty that resides in these arranged tracks.