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Poisonblack
Lust Stained Despair
September 2006
Released: 2006, Century Media Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland

With Sentenced now dead and buried, Ville Laihiala can focus his attention on his other band, Poisonblack, a hard-rocking gothic outfit ripe with melodic hooks and infectious choruses. J.P. Leppaluoto sang on Poisonblack’s 2003 debut, ESCAPEXSTACY, but Laihaila is now on vocals making LUST STAINED DESPAIR, for all intents and purposes, sound like a lighter, more commercially-friendly version of the last two Sentenced albums. The lyrics, while far less dismal than Sentenced’s wrist-slitting output, are firmly rooted in dark gothic imagery and the keyboards of Marco Sneck provide a haunting sense of atmosphere. LUST STAINED DESPAIR is extremely bass heavy and the guitars of Laihiala and Janne Markus crunch with a powerful vigor thanks to the stellar mixing and mastering job by Tue Madsen. Sentenced fans that enjoyed the band’s more melodic epics will be suitably impressed by LUST STAINED DESPAIR and can find solace in hearing Laihiala growling in despair once again.



The killer opening riff and driving groove of “Nothing Else Remains” would not be out of place on Sentenced’s THE COLD WHITE LIGHT album. Antti Remes and Tarmo Kanerva provide a rock-solid rhythm section here, one that carries the album on its shoulders and is reminiscent of the sound achieved by Nightwish on ONCE. A chorus as catchy as “Hollow Be My Name” should come with an inoculation as the guitar squeals and Laihiala’s voice propel the song directly to memory. Remes’ heavy, throbbing bass during the verses of “The Darkest Lie” give the woofers a solid workout while Laihiala adds a soaring guitar solo that showcases he has more to offer than just his voice. “Rush,” a single if I’ve ever heard one, allows Laihiala to run the gauntlet with his vocal range, hitting a clean vocal, sinister spoken word, deep croon and his trademark growl. “Nail” is chock full of heavy riffs and metallic fervor but the melancholy melodies and gothic keyboards perfectly bridge the gap between the two angles of Poisonblack’s sound. Laihiala really lets loose with a scorching guitar performance on “Soul In Flames.” The riffs are biting and the sizzling solo is dripping with 80s retro influences. “Pain Becomes Me,” an acoustic ballad featuring only the keyboards of Sneck and Laihiala’s voice, is as dreary as anything Sentenced ever recorded. “Love Controlled Despair” shifts between a H.I.M.-like melancholy verse and a harder-edged chorus evoking mid-nineties Depeche Mode.



In an ironic twist, LUST STAINED DESPAIR is one of the most shimmering moments from an artist who made a career out of preaching utter hopelessness. Without a bad song in the bunch, Poisonblack’s new album is dark, but accessible and the thick, meaty production results in a vastly superior album to ESCAPEXSTACY. Ville Laihiala’s vocals are time-tested and a better suit for Poisonblack, as well. His guitarwork, which was never fully realized in Sentenced, is given free reign here and Laihiala utilizes plenty of crushing power chords, pinch harmonics and sturdy riffs to create a formidable entity in his Sentenced after-life.



KILLER KUTS: “Nothing Else Remains,” “Hollow Be Thy Name,” “The Darkest Lie,” “Rush,” Nail,” “Soul In Flames,” “Never Enough”
Track Listing

1. Nothing Else Remains
2. Hollow Be My Name
3. The Darkest Lie
4. Rush
5. Nail
6. Raivotar
7. Soul In Flames
8. Pain Becomes Me
9. Never Enough
10. Love Controlled Despair
11. The Living Dead

Lineup

Ville Laihiala—Vocals/Lead Guitar
Janne Markus—Rhythm Guitar
Antti Remes—Bass
Marco Sneck—Keyboards
Tarmo Kanerva—Drums


Next review: » Poisonblack - Lust Stained Despair
Previous review: » Poisonblack - Escapexstacy

Poisonblack
Lust Stained Despair
December 2006
Released: 2006, Century Media
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Arto Lehtinen

After laying Sentenced to the everfrost rest, an excellent opportunity arose for the now former frontman of Sentenced - to re-activate PoisonBlack from hiatus. Recording the second PoisonBlack album took a long time as the recording was carried out in different places. Final mixing of the album was handled by Tue Madsen, who has previously worked with The Haunted, Heaven Shall Burn etc.



Comparing PoisonBlack to Sentenced is as pointless as comparing night to day, but in one case the similarities between Sentenced and PoisonBlack are more or less obvious when speaking of Laihiala’s delivery. The man’s dark and masculine voice fits perfectly to the sound of PoisonBlack which definitely appeals to the female fans.



Sounds of the second PoisonBlack album have been mixed to have more groove and even rougher elements, creating kind of a dirty sound feeling. That kind of approach suits the album giving a recognizable sound for PoisonBlack. It isn't a surprise that the album sounds great when a man like Tued Madsen has been behind the desk.



The album definitely contains a plenty of dismal and the typical Finnish melancholic metal hymns. Frankly, Ville Laihiala has always been an excellent interpreter of that kind of metal/rock stuff with his dark voice. Even though Laihiala has shown his ability behind the mic, the man has the skills to create these catching tunes on the guitar. Whereas the keyboards give another type of final feeling to the sounds on the album.



As stated above, the album contains a plenty of good songs including touching emotional songs. Surely some readers caught the video of “Rush” on MTV2, giving a good impression of the band’s dismal and a slightly gothic approach. PoisonBlack’s second album proves the former Sentenced vocalist isn’t just resting on his laurels. Instead, we see him pushing his current band forward with fire and passion.
Track Listing

1. Nothing Else Remains
2. Hollow Be My Name
3. The Darkest Lie
4. Rush
5. Nail
6 .Raivotar
7. Soul In Flames
8. Pain Becomes Me
9. Never Enough
10. Love Controlled Despair
The Living Dead

Lineup

Ville Laihiala -guitars/vocals
Janne Markus - bass
Antti Remes - bass
Marco Sneck - keyboards
Tarmo Kanerva - drums


Next review: » Poisonblack - Lust Stained Despair
Previous review: » Poisonblack - Escapexstacy

Poisonblack
Lust Stained Despair
September 2006
Released: 2006, Century Media/EMI
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

This is the fomer Sentenced singer Ville Laihiala’s band. This is the first release with Laihiala behind the mic; he took over when former singer JP Leppäluoto left. He also changed the line-up a bit, and the only two remaining members from the previous album are the drummer and the keyboard player.



This second drop of venomous poison released by Poisonblack is - as usual - filled with metal-influenced goth. You can almost hear that the band is from Finland because of the sadness and despair in the music; a sound that has carried Finnish acts into worldwide success. The music hasn’t changed much since the debut; it’s still the same sad, dark, and black goth metal with well-structured arrangements. This album is much more varied in tempo, though. A few songs that rise above the rest are the faster “Nothing Else Remains”, “Rush”, and “Nail”; the melancholic “The Darkest Lie” and “Soul in Flames”; the guitar-based “Never Enough” and “Raivotar”; and the very beautiful ballads “Pain Becomes Me” and “The Living Dead”. All of these songs stand out and makes the album a little special.



LUSTSTAINEDDESPAIR was recorded in Finland’s Tonebox Studio and it was mixed and mastered in Denmark’s AntFarm Studio with Tue Madsen. The production came out great, with every element in the right place to paint the dark and sad musical landscape Laihiala wanted.



This album is even better than the debut and deserves the highest rating possible. All of the 11 tracks are outstanding, and Poisonblack is now in a league of their own. This is probably the strongest album in this genre so far this year.



http://www.emi.se
Track Listing

Nothing Else Remains
Hollow Be My Name
The Darkest Lie
Rush
Nail
Raivotar
Soul In Flames
Pain Becomes Me
Never Enough
Love Controlled Despair
The Living Dead

Lineup

Ville Laihiala – lead vocals, lead guitar
Tarmo Kanerva – drums
Marco Sneck – keyboards
Antti Remes – bass
Janne Markus – guitar


Next review: » Pokolgep - Te Sem Vagy Mas (You`re No Different)
Previous review: » Poisonblack - Escapexstacy





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