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After more than a decade in the business Love Like Blood return revamped and renewed ready to conquer new territory. “Enslaved + Condemned” is a powerful album that crosses, or transcends, several musical boundaries. Whereas several notable Metal bands have crossed over into Gothic territory, namely Paradise Lost and especially My Dying Bride, LLB delves into Metal territory. This can be readily seen by their choice of producer, Simon Efemy of Paradise Lost and Amorphis fame. The result is a strong album filled with passion, fury, and that dark romanticism which is the real element of Gothic. Further, the lyrics are loaded with meaning both spiritual and political. One cannot listen to songs like “Dying Nation”, “Violation”, “Like A Bird”, “7 Seconds”, and “Cry Out” without realizing that a lot of thought went into the lyrics of this album. No doubt there are some political and social criticism couched in these lyrics, but the downside of receiving promos is that we often don’t get lyrics.
The opener, “Love Kills” is filled with the sort of vampiric undertones that one expects from a Gothic band, but this album goes well beyond the expected. Some songs are powerful and make you want to drive your car fast. For example, the song “Cry Out” is definitely on the Metal side and can rightly be described as an anthem. Other songs are languid and emotive. The two best examples are “Slow Motion” and “Passionate”. The former is an erotic song I’d like my wife to hear sometime when the kids are gone, ‘nuff said. The other, “Passionate” is just that, very passionate. On a scale of 1 to 10 I think Love Like Blood deserve a 10 because I cannot find any real flaws in this work. “Enslaved + Condemned” is a strong contender for album of the year. The question is: In which category, Gothic or Metal?
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