VELVET VIPER - The Pale Man Is Holding A Broken Heart

Velvet Viper - The Pale Man Is Holding A Broken Heart

11 songs
52:01 minutes
***** ***


A somewhat shorter title would have been nice for the second "comeback" album of Velvet Viper, because it took me quite some time to memorise this multisyllabic title. The cover artwork hints at the legend of the Flying Dutchman, which brings us to literary classics and old sagas that have influenced the lyrics. Since Velvet Piper returned in 2017, guitarist Holger Marx and seventy-two year old vocalist Jutta Weinhold are in charge of music and lyrics.

Compared to the predecessor Respice Finem, the songs are considerably harder on The Pale Man Is Holding A Broken Heart, without things getting out of hand though. Many songs dwell in mid-tempo territory and emphasise rather drama than heaviness. This can be heard for instance on the first single One-Eyed Ruler for which a cool Eighties themed video clip has been made. Götterdämmerung, dealing with Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, is another hymn full of drama and pace changes. A little faster is All By Yourself, a swift track with a catchy chorus. Samson and Delilah comes with a Biblical theme, sounds vaguely Oriental and once again is full of suspense. Hide Your Face is one of the band’s heavier tracks that should appeal to the metal community. The Wheel Has Come Full Circle is another amazing track where especially the theatrical ending that reminds me of a young Alice Cooper is a unexpected surprise. The only small flaw on the album is the quiet and unfortunately a little unspectacular Something Is Rotten. Jutta Weinhold is at a time in her life where most people have already retired, and yet she is still so full of energy and has an incredibly powerful voice that will make you believe that she has still some creative years ahead of her.

The gloomy intro is followed by ten songs, of which nine are more than just decent. I am glad that Velvet Piper revive the spirit of Zed Yago. Those like classic heavy metal free of all current trends should be delighted by the second spring of Velvet Viper.

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