Lullacry – Where Angels Fear (End Of the Light Records)

Sunday, 24th March 2013
Rating: 8/10

Sometimes promising acts take open ended breaks and as journalists, we often refer to the recesses of our minds to play the “whatever happened to…” game. For Finnish gothic metal group Lullacry, signs pointed to a breakthrough with their last release Vol. 4 in the summer of 2005. Following the touring cycle, Lullacry went on a self-imposed hiatus, then label negotiations came and went which took up more time… all the while giving the band time to refine and write material at their own pace.

Seven years later, Where Angels Fear appears at a time when many of their former contemporaries vaulted into arena worthy acts like Nightwish and Lacuna Coil, and the natural tendency would be to follow in those footsteps to reach the commercial brass ring. The 11 songs on this record are purely Scandinavian driven, the Gwen Stefani-like chameleon vocal presence of Tanja Lainio up to the challenge no matter what the tempo or rhythms project.

The opener “Antidote to You” races like the wind, then the off-tempo, jackhammer riffing from guitarists Sami Leppikangas and Sauli Kivilahti provide the excitement while the acoustic twist during the bridge makes “Still An Angel” a future set classic. When the quintet slow the proceedings to a ballad format, there’s still enough heaviness injected with the crunchy rhythms and wah-wah-like soloing to make “Feel My Revenge” infinitely stronger than most of the poppy, keyboard-laden affairs you may hear in the genre.

My favorite tracks probably include the punk meets rock anthem vibe permeating “Bad Blood” and the low tuned steady thump that doesn’t quit for the title cut, where Lainio navigates into some upper register action. Lullacry differentiate from the pack because of their looser band chemistry – it’s more of a plug in, crank it up and play atmosphere that creates energetic, exciting arrangements.

Where Angels Fear should have the dual benefit of generational cross appeal – let’s not wait another seven years for the follow up, though…

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