Vlad in Tears - Relapse album

Vlad in Tears – Relapse (Album Review)

Vlad in Tears 2024 band

The categorization of Gothic Metal is quite a broad one that can range all the way from the work of England’s Paradise Lost to Finland’s H.I.M.  Two vastly different entities, to simplify matters, let us just say – to most, Gothic Metal falls somewhere between H.I.M., Italy’s Lacuna Coil and Germany’s Lacrimas Profundere. This in mind, one such band of this stylistic approach who has been around for quite some time are Vlad in Tears.

Vlad in Tears, originally formed in Italy, but calling Berlin, Germany home for over a decade now, have roots that date all the way back in 2006. Nearly two decades ago at this point, the band’s core has always been three siblings; Vocalist/Pianist Kris, Bassist Dario, and Guitarist Lex Vlad. Together they have created some dark, melodic, and engaging Gothic Metal music ranging from their impressive 2007 debut Seeds of an Ancient Pain, through to 2022’s Porpora. Experimenting with their style along the way – interjecting different sounds, and at times, creating tunes that are heavier – Vlad in Tears return in 2024 with the album Relapse.

The band’s ninth overall studio record, Relapse, set for release March 22nd, marks their second with the German-based Metalville Records. A great spot for the band, Relapse finds Vlad in Tears trying a few new things. To begin with, the three brothers devoted a good deal of 2023 to create the new material. Beyond this, they also reportedly devoted 10-day consecutive days to work on the album at Kris’ personal recording studio. Something that can lend itself to a very dialed-in approach, it seems everyone had equal input, carved out the songs as a unit, but what most boldly stands out is the absence of synth elements this time around. Something different, scaling back these aspects has created one of the band’s most guitar-driven and heavier Rock albums to date.

Now, if you are new to Vlad in Tears, prior outputs by the band were always consistently and equally passionate, emotional. As mentioned, they have progressed from album to album, and with Relapse they are still creating a world that will be familiar to listeners. These ideas considered, Vlad in Tears have not completely abandoned what they have done in the past, but Relapse certainly goes for a rougher, less polished sound. Doing this over the course of eleven songs, the guitar grooves are thick and Kris’ voice is more intense and in your face than ever before. Still having the same passionate, romantic tone, for whatever reason, his performance comes across more gruff and tough.

Certainly, more of a driven Hard Rock album, some of the big winners here include “Break Away,” the haunting “Broken Bones,” “Dig Deep,” but also the outstanding “Fight For Another Day” and “Live Again.” This is while other standout moments include the Industrial-like “Goodbye” and “Not Good Enough.”

In all, Relapse is an album that finds Vlad in Tears taking a different approach and finding success. The less saturated style creates a mood that lets you get into a groove heavily pronounced by guitars, but also the hooky, irresistible vocal lines. Featuring an energy that cannot be denied, Cryptic Rock gives Vlad in Tears Relapse 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

Vlad in Tears - Relapse album
Vlad in Tears – Relapse / Metalville Records (2024)

Like the in-depth, diverse coverage of Cryptic Rock? Help us in support to keep the magazine going strong for years to come with a small donation.

No comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *