Vital Status: Alive & Stable😴
Fav Tracks: Bulldozer, Heaven, Waiting 42moro, We’ll Figure it Out, Perfect Teeth, Zero Ultra, (Can’t) Keep It Together
Least Fav: Concrete Bubble, Silver Bells, Gone In An Instant
Black Dresses has created some of the weirdest sounds through combining genres of electric, industrial rock, noise rock, and metal with such sweet and ear wrenching vocals that it almost doesn’t make sense. The now disbanded band has decided to remain broken up, but, still release music and on Valentine’s Day they put out their 5th album Forever In Your Heart.
Forever In Your Heat may be one of the most difficult albums for a lot of people to listen to. There’s a ton of things to pull out of this 15 track record with its 48 minute runtime and none of it comes easy. What I mean by all of this is that this dark, brutal, loud, and noisy album has some of the most abstract sounds, disturbing lyrics, and a touch of hopelessness that I can’t escape.
For me, the album actually starts off a little weak with the first two tracks “PEACESIGN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and “Concrete Bubble”. These songs will certainly grab your attention right away. “PEACESIGN” does allude to their previous album cover Peaceful as Hell which is a fantastic project. The electric metal sound blaring with a zoney chorus is a pretty intense start. Both Devi and Rook on these tracks have their fair share of screaming vocals . While the production does sound great on each of these to me the song writing feels a little too ambiguous to connect.
Also, something to keep an eye on throughout Forever In Your Heart are the drums that I love on pretty much every song. It may be simple at times but its so in your face and thumping at points you can’t miss it.
Moving on, “Bulldozer” oddly enough was an enjoyable track for me. Even for a Black Dresses song the lyrics here are pretty strange, which makes the blown out bass and rhythmic electric sound that comes in midway through the song to be the most enjoyable aspect.
On the front end of this record, “Heaven” is another standout track. This is the type of song where I think Black Dresses is in their zone. The song has abnormal and abrasive instrumentation that leads into a calm floating chorus. The electric guitar that comes in on Rook’s verse is like an adrenaline rush. All of this encompasses some worrisome lyrics about loving pain so much because it feels like your dying.
The album does fall into a little bit of a lull here in the middle. You won’t be bored, but it can feel like at times there are too many sounds going on without something to cling on to. Like on the track “Tiny Ball” we get a super scaled back and raw opening that bursts into this toy world like production that is overwhelming. Here it feels as if there are too many instrumentation changes in such a short song that leaves me feeling confused and unsatisfied.
“Silver Bells” is another track here where I couldn’t really understand or grasp the topic of this song. Maybe because the blown out bass playing throughout can seem a little overdone. Rook completely loses her shit in the middle and even Devi has to kind of stop the track and ask Rook if she’s ok.
The 2nd half of this album feels like their writing picks up a bit and song concepts are a little more thought out. “Waiting 42moro” features Rook’s soft and lovely lo-fi vocals and a washed out noise playing over all of this. The lyrics here show the struggle of trying to push through when things seem bleak in a dying world. It ends with this intense noise rock moment that feels appropriate.
“Gone In An Instant” is another underwhelming moment where Rook flip flops between screaming and singing on each line and this can feel a little forced. Also, reading the lyrics this track seems to be about a complete evaporation of life where the sun freezes over. IDK but it feels vague, unclear, and a little messy.
Next, the thumping hook on “We’ll Figure It Out” sounds great and the switch between Devi and Rook vocally has a contrast between it that keeps my attention. The song holds this layer of paranoid realization and the production completely compliments this.
“Understanding” is this industrial noise rock track that transitions into a synthesized blast. The most interesting thing to me here is some of the lyrics. It appears as if Devi and Rook initially used pain and songwriting as a way to be understood but in return this has caused more misunderstanding. It’s really an interesting look into how artist feel about the interpretations of their art and how that reflects who they are.
Towards the end of Forever In Your Heat we get the nightmarish song “Perfect Teeth” followed up by “Zero Ultra”. This song is a high paced breakdown moment. The lyrics of
Every thing I got left stuck inside me
Like Bits of glass
I need Impossible gentleness
To stay intact
There’s this painful admittance of needing compassion that we hear in both Rook and Devi’s voice that really cuts thru.
To close out the record we get both “Mistake” and “(Can’t) Keep It Together” which is an incredible outro. “Mistake” has this simple calm video game sound production and features a brutal last line of
What does it really take to want to hurt a child?
It seems like it’s not much for a lot of people
which is so gut wrenching.
And my personal favorite song on album is “(Can’t) Keep It Together”. Here we get some of the best singing and showcase of emotions. The guitar solo on this track is incredibly sweet and yet screaming at the same time and it exemplifies the emotions displayed throughout. Overall, “(Can’t Keep It Together) is probably the most accessible song on the entire album.
To wrap up this review, I want to reiterate that this album is not an easy listen. It’s brutal and jarring which gives it so much more satisfaction when you get to the less abrasive moments that are few and far between. This feels like a further decent into oblivion, but being less okay with it.