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Vlad in Tears – Porpora

Vlad in Tears
by Gary Hernandez at 24 September 2022, 7:41 PM

VLAD IN TEARS have their roots in Italy but have made their home in Berlin for the last nine years. They are a Goth Rock band who have been around since circa 2007. They tend to experiment with their style, but their aesthetic and general sentiment says Goth. On September 19, 2022 they released their eighth album, “Porpora,” on Metalville Records. It is a mainstream metal, radio-friendly album which tests the water of several subgenres but never fully commits to any . . . though I guess non-commitment is a commitment in itself. The album spans 12 tracks, including a cover of the recently resurrected “Running Up That Hill,” and has a full runtime of 43 minutes.

Kris (vocals) says “Porpora” is their most important album to date and that it imbues reflections “related to loneliness, sorrow, dark heavy thoughts about death, self-harm and suicide.” Written during the lock-down, it is a catalogue of personal struggles which are ultimately overcome—so while the subject matter is dark, the overriding theme is hopeful. As Kris notes, “We can't simply give up to our hopes and dreams, we have to keep fighting for it." So, A+ on altruistic intent. Performance-wise, the album feels like an 80’s throwback with some Industrial and Emo weaved in. The Kate Bush remake underscores that vibe in a big way.

VLAD IN TEARS are at their best when they stick to heavy riffs, keep the keyboards out of the mix, and dial back on the sentimentality. There are some strong moments throughout the album, but they are intermingled with the more unsavory bits. With that said, best tracks are “Sorry” and “One Last Chance.” The lyrics are also well done. No question about the genuineness and power of the words—real feelings from a real person.

The word “porpora” means purple or maroon in Italian—not quite red, not quite blue. That fits well for the album title and overall theme. Just not quite dark or visceral enough to be blood red or midnight blue. With that said, purple is wildly popular. Similarly, there are a lot of people who will probably love this album. It’s Pop Metal for the masses. I can’t say I enjoyed many of the tracks, but I’m coming at it with more of an Extreme Metal palate. If you enjoy Light Industrial or Light Nu-metal, VLAD IN TEARS might work for you. As always, a listen is recommended before judging. Head on over to Bandcamp and give them a spin.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 5
Memorability: 5
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

1. Wasted Lives
2. Down
3. Sorry
4. Blood
5. Be Save Now
6. Closer
7. Hope
8. One Last Chance
9. No Candles For The Ride
10. Let Me Be The One
11. Right Now
12. Running Up That Hill
Kris Vlad – Vocals
D. Vlad – Bass
Lex Vlad – Guitar
Alex Vlad – Drums
Record Label: Metalville Records


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