With a promotional video that shows a Skyline on Fire, a title that
suggests a war to end all wars, and a concept that loosely resembles a
futuristic world, it's safe to make an assumption - Dolls of Pain are
back, and they mean business.
The earlier releases (in particular, 2007's "Slavehunter") were
laden with Dark Electro of the highest order, competing with the
occasional Trance-like Arp, to create a sound unique enough to make DoP
an act worth anyone's time.
Like A7ie, this French act has undergone a recent change in
aesthetic, and the fetish themes that we embraced on "Slavehunter" and
"Cybersex" are gone.
"The Last Conflict" continues where the Strange Kiss EP left off,
and mixes Guitars into the Dolls of Pain sound. Maybe to show that
there's more ideas in the pot, or maybe just to further their career?
Who knows, but one thing is for sure - as promotion and interest goes, this album has done a good job in advertising itself.
"The Beginning of the End" - it's the title of the first track on
here, but also a sign of times to come. It's just full of Shredding
Guitars, war-like sounds, and the clever use of Electronics just makes
it sound like you're standing in Manhattan, Dubai, Toronto or Beijing,
watching a battle being fought in the skies at night.
See, Dolls of Pain are to me an act that manage to use their
imagery, song titles and themes to make the music much more innately
interesting than you'd expect from a typical Dark Electro act. You could
listen to any of their albums and find a radically different approach
to music without breaking too much of a sweat.
Guitars may be one of the main elements to the new Dolls of Pain
sound, but great care has also been taken to ensure that older fans
aren't pushed away from the evolution. "Strange Kiss" is familiar to
some from the EP of the same name (released prior to this album), and
like quite a few tracks on here ("Hurt Me", "Like an Ass Bitch"), the
song titles hint at the style that this band is previously known for.
Ultimately, this album is at a place where the sound has been
comfortably established, and Dolls of Pain are at a place where they can
relax and take great care to know that their next offering doesn't need
to prove anything.
If you're looking for a stand out track to persuade you to invest in
this album, I recommend looking at the intro "The Beginning of the
End", "Strange Kiss", "Hurt Me" (which has female accompanying vocals),
and my personal favourite "Stairs of Glory".
A heavy release, which is strong from start to finish, and has some
great club anthems on it. I'm not sure how to change your mind about
Dolls of Pain if you previously didn't like them, except to stress that
this is a completely different sound, and it's far more evolved and
intelligent than most of the meandering detritus you can see floating
around these days.
01. The Beginning Of The End
02. Strange Kiss
03. Are U Blind?
04. Why Not?
05. Dont Blame Me
06. Fading Lies
07. Stairs Of Glory
08. Hurt Me
09. Inside Your Soul
10. Like An Ass Bitch
11. Déchirure Nocturne
12. Stay Far Away From Me
13. With You (feat. Dddmix of BakXIII)
Dolls of Pain are:
Notre Guide: Vocals / lyrics
VDB42: Synthetic keys / 2nd vocals
Machine: Guitars / keyboards programming / composing
Darx: Live sound engineer / mastering / webmasterNick
18 Jul 2011