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Dead Girls Academy – Doves In Glass Houses Award winner

Dead Girls Academy
Doves In Glass Houses
by Mark Machlay at 29 December 2020, 10:29 AM

After retiring his previous band, VAMPIRES EVERYWHERE!, frontman Michael “Vampire” Orlando decided to focus a little more on the post-hardcore/alternative edge of his style and formed Dead Girls Academy in 2016. The band retains the dark and drama-filled aesthetic that Orlando is known for, but trims out the spooky, occult, shock-rock that was at the forefront of his previous band. Almost immediately after VAMPIRES EVERYWHERE! was caput, Orlando entered the studio with Ronnie Radke of FALLING IN REVERSE, and producer Michael “Elvis” Baskette – who has worked with the likes of TRIVIUM, ALTER BRIDGE and FALLING IN REVERSE as well – to flesh out songs for a new project. The band’s first single “I’ll Find a Way” dropped in 2017, tours with MOTIONLESS IN WHITE, ISSUES, and FALLING IN REVERSE followed, and ORLANDO signed with Victory Records to write a full album soon after. Just before Warped Tour 2018 kicked off, the band released two new singles from their debut album Alchemy which dropped less than a week before the band joined the tour.

After a solid 2 years of touring the band released their sophomore effort “Doves in the Glass House” on the appropriate date of Devil’s Night aka October 30th, 2020, going well with their goth/punk aesthetic. The band has had some lineup changes since the debut and switched labels, going with Mission Two Entertainment this time around but are going strong with guitarist Craig Pirtle and drummer Zachary Moore alongside Orlando. Three separate producers were consulted for the record – Malcom Springer (MATCHBOX 20, FEAR FACTORY), Kris Crummet (DANCE GAVIN DANCE, SLEEPING WITH SIRENS), and Nick Sampson (WE CAME AS ROMANS, POLYPHIA). The 11-song follow-up maintains key elements of the sound created on their debut, but the band clearly has explored different avenues and styles offering an interesting collection of gothic/punk alternative rock.

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to be impressed, the band appeared to be heavily image conscious after seeing promo pictures, looking very glam. But I was suitably knocked out by their first song “Blackout” and with each song, extremely pleased with the variety. Down-tuned guitars have been overused in metal for much too long, but when you mix it with lush synth layers and Orlando’s powerful, captivating, voice, color me intrigued. Continuing the same mood into “Ghost of Me”, I never thought I would be impressed with a fitting, aching guitar solo, but by now my interest was piqued. What else was in store? “Bleeding Faith” is a crunching, brutal turn, pushing Orlando into harder-edge screams and relentless rhythmic pounding. “Just For Tonight” jaunts between jangly clean guitars and crushing guitar choruses, making for an epic power ballad. It picks back up on the anthemic “Nothing Left” and “This is War”, the latter reminding me of a mix of punkier SUM 41 and the heaviness of STATIC-X making for a heavy singable chorus. It ends really strong with “Inside Out” adding the emotional kick of “Jinxx” of BLACK VEIL BRIDES’ impressive string work to go out with an epic bang. These guys are heavy enough to get you pumped but sensitive enough to tug at the heartstrings and appreciate their beauty.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Blackout
2. Ghost Of Me
3. Bleeding Faith
4. End of the Fight
5. Addicted To Your Heart
6. Just For Tonight
7. Agonize
8. Nothing Left
9. This Is War
10. City Lights
11. Inside Out (feat. Jinxx)
Lineup:
Michael “Vampire” Orlando – Lead Vocals
Craig Pirtle – Guitar
Zachary Moore – Drums
Record Label: Mission Two Entertainment
     


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Edited 27 February 2021
 

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