So, long live Child Of Ceasar! This German gothic metal band has clearly captured my attention since I started writing this review on the very first listen. This is something that only happens when I really like the album. So yes, I do like this album, especially after I pronounced the scene dead in a column I wrote earlier this week. It gives me a bit of new hope, just like Velvet Six did some months ago.
(stop writing intros and get on with the review already)
Love In Black is mainly a collection of heavy rocking gothic metal songs in the vein of 69 Eyes, Paradise Lost, Moonspell and Tiamat. With powerfully distored guitars, typical keyboard passages and clean, dark vocals, Child Of Ceasar is planning on taking their spot in the world of dark rock. It sounds so good that it doesn't even matter that the vocalist has a bit of a German accent sometimes. In opener 'Defector' there was even a moment when I doubted the language. But it doesn't matter. In fact, it makes the whole even more convincable than it already is.
Songs like 'Red Sun' and 'Gates' bring me right back to my days at Graspop where I used to dance in a pretty typical goth-way: face down, eyes closed and no more than one square meter of movement. The other songs are in no way inferior. 'Long Live The Night' is a very strong piece of songwriting that Paradise Lost could have written, but didn't. So now it's one of the best songs on this album.
What I love most on this album is the sound of the guitars. To me, this is the perfect dark metal sound which made many bands great. It's distorted but not over the top and it has a gloomy feel, loaded with bass. Yet, the true value, of course, lies in the excellent songwriting abilities of this band. Songs about love, lust, life and death follow each other in a continuous flow of musical nostalgia.
Let's just conclude that Love In Black is a prime example of a modern day gothic metal album and actually a worthy tribute to the genre. No doubt some of the songs will appear on several dark parties all over Germany and the rest of Europe. I can only hope the band follows an appear on stage here and there. So rejoice, zwartzakken (ask a Flemish friend what this means), there is still hope...