"Vol. 4"

(Century Media)

01. Perfect Tonight
02. Love, Lust, Desire
03. Fire Within
04. Stranger In You
05. Heart Shaped Scars
06. Soul In Half
07. Killing Time
08. I Want You
09. King of Pain
10. Zero

RATING: 7/10

Sure, it'd be possible to get through a LULLACRY review without mentioning several international superstar bands who combine bubblegummy pop-metal with female vocals. But what would the fun of that be? Besides, find me a NIGHTWISH fan who doesn't like this band — if you do, they're either lying or being deliberately difficult.

And really, what's not to like? You've got slick, polished, catchy metal tunes that make HAMMERFALL look like SPIRAL ARCHITECT, an album full of populist hit singles, festooned with the cheeky vocals of the sufficiently babe-a-licious Tanja. The backing tracks may be played by burly Finns (including a bassist named, I shit you not, "Heavy") but on songs like "Stranger In You", they might as well be Lindsay Lohan's backing band — this is unapologetic, commercial hard rock, with one foot in Eurotrash pop and another in '80s movie soundtrack froth.

You want a ballad with dated synths ("Heart Shaped Scars")? Of course you do. How about one of those "dark" songs that sounds like a QUEENSRŸCHE outtake from "Empire"? "King of Pain"… check! The whole thing may come off as a little pre-fab and corny, but no more so than any other hard rock hopefuls with their eyes on the singles charts and glossy Kerrang! spreads. Put it this way, if you're going into a LULLACRY album looking for anything but what they give you, the problem is yours, not theirs.

And "Vol. 4" does deliver the goods. The songs are catchy, Tanja acquits herself well, and the whole thing is a pleasant, poppy listen. Whether it slots in next to your CRYPTOPSY or PIG DESTROYER CDs is your own issue (and, not to stir the shitpot of Internet debate, but it seems to be a pretty American issue, metal fans being a bit more, shall we say, uptight on these shores). Just listen to "Killing Time" or "Zero" and think of LULLACRY as a good-time bridge between CHILDREN OF BODOM and STRATOVARIUS, with a little gratuitous PAT BENATAR thrown in. Or just chuck all the analysis out the window and enjoy LULLACRY for the gilded, goofy, guilty pleasure they're meant to be.


To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).