Dark Princess - The World I Lost
Gothic Metal
10 songs (41:15)
Release year: 2012
Reviewed by Cory

My usual detachment from bands like Evanescence and more recently Lacuna Coil aside, I can still appreciate the niche they attempt to fill in the rock/metal spectrum. Despite the vehement shouts of elitists decrying bands that play radio friendly metal, the truth is that this is a style that can be very rewarding for the listener if it is done well. Unfortunately, the commercial scene is flooded with bands of mediocre talent and/or effort, which is what happens when a label hammers a vein that once yielded a few ounces of gold until nothing remains but copper. Yet every now and then a band will come along and remind you that even in a more simplistic and pop oriented style, heart and soul still go a long ways. Russia’s Dark Princess stand as shining example of this, and The World I Lost rises above its peers for a moment in the sun.

The World I Lost is Dark Princess’s fourth album since they formed in 2005, but currently is the only one that I have heard so I have no point of reference for any changes or improvements they might have made in that span. Still if you have heard the likes of those afore mentioned bands then you know what to expect. There are simple yet catchy riffs, melded with simple yet catchy radio friendly choruses. The pleasant mid-range vocals of Natalia Terekhova take center stage, backed by the occasional accompaniment of Exumbra (keyboards) and Saint (guitars). Musically speaking the album is pleasing in the way that most gothic metal albums are when done well, with just enough technical flourishes to show you that they are capable musicians without ever pressing into more involved territory. There is a steady presence of keys, but done tastefully without overpowering the guitars at any point. Catchy and pleasing are the words that best describe Dark Princess’s sound, yet while retaining that feeling of something substantial that other bands have lost in the process.

The songs themselves are fairly formulaic, though well done. Fight With Myself is a strong opener that sets the tone well. We Can Not Fly So High was the selling point for me on the album. Despite a melody that just begs for radio play (normally a point at which I would lose interest), it is just so well done that I can’t help but come back to it over and over. The chorus is absolutely fantastic, and though there is an ill-advised moment towards the end where Natalia screams “yeah!!!!” the song is pretty much perfect, and easily my favorite of the album. Everlasting Pain is a quick little tune, rocking out effectively with a nice guitar lead. Paradise Land incorporates some folk elements that make for a nice change in pace, and The Temple of Darkness wins the silver medal on the album (and knocks out an Olympic reference at the same time) with a wonderful ballad structure and the best vocal performance on the album. Closer The Way of Passion is a bit odd in design, but still enjoyable and worthy of notice.

More often than not, gothic rock bands like this have a short shelf life for me. Even heavy hitters like Lacuna Coil don’t really wow me all that much, but I am pleased to say that Dark Princess’s The World I Lost, for the most part, has found a steady place in my listening rotation. There is a lot of pop metal here to be sure, but there is also plenty of heart and soul, and that counts for a hell of allot. Worthwhile for those interested in an easy and enjoyable listening experience.

Killing Songs :
We Cannot Fly So High, Everlasting Pain, and The Temple of Darkness
Cory quoted 76 / 100
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