For the uninitiated, Lord Of The Lost are a German band from Hamburg. Formed by frontman, Chris’s Harms in 2007 and initially meant as a solo project, but later evolved into a group. Their industrial / goth metal sound with fetish-adjacent imagery gets them a lot of attention, particularly in their homeland. They have earned themselves several top ten positions and even a number one chart placement over the years. While having a “cult following” Internationally, they have yet to break out of Europe in a big way, until now.
Barely one year after the release of their album, Blood and Glitter, Lord Of The Lost return with a new album released on December 29th, to close out a successful 2023.
After representing Germany (and metal music in general) at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool, England in May this year, and following that up with touring heavily during the Northern Hemisphere summer, Lord of the Lost surprise us with a new album made up entirely of cover songs.
Weapons Of Mass Seduction opens with a 1993 Billy Idol rocker, Shock To The System, that powers along at a cracking pace and makes you want to get up and move. I made a mental note to add this to my “housework” playlist. It’s a cracker of an opener! It’s followed up with the 2016 Sia hit song, Unstoppable, also a single from this album. It’s slightly darker than the original but Harms stays true to it.
Then Bronski Beat’s 1984 hit, Smalltown Boy, gets a darkwave makeover where we hear Harms open up his harsh vocals for the first time. The next song starts and I am smiling as I recognise it as Judas Priest’s 1997 single, Turbo Lover, a personal favourite of theirs, I sing along with Harms and by mid-way through I’m up and dancing. Harms honours Midge Ure’s vocal styling in the 1982 Ultravox song, Hymn. Next up is Give In To Me from the 1991 Michael Jackson album, Dangerous, sounding more goth than pop, followed by the 2018 single by Bishop Riggs, River which gets its bluesy roots styling eliminated and down tuned into more of a heavier rock ballad. The Keane 2004 banger Somewhere Only We Know gets a LotL style gothic revamp and then we get another 1980s hit with Cutting Crew’s 1986 number one hit, (I Just) Died In Your Arms. LotL have made it into a duet with Berlin-based Independant Darkpop / Soft Rock singer Anica Russo. Russo is probably best known for her previous collaboration with Adam Lambert. Her sweet vocals harmonising with Harms’ gothic tones give the song a darkwave pop vibe. Next Lord Of The Lost tackle the 2015 Zella Day song, High, giving it a metal treatment with some harsh vocals. The album is rounded out with the 2014 Pretty Reckless song, House On The Hill with the original’s acoustic guitars being swapped for a piano intro that turns into a heavy rock ballad.
Weapons Of Mass Seduction is an eclectic mix of pop and rock tunes that comes off being surprisingly cohesive. However, I suspect that fans of Lord Of The Lost might find this album on the “lite” side of their usual sound.
Vocalist, Chris Harms, has an approachable vocal style that has a nice measure of husk and grit. Harm’s deep baritone gives dark, gothic vibes, especially when coupled with the heavily down-tuned guitars and darkwave-style keyboards. His use of harsh growls and screams are used (very) sparingly on this album, but fits perfectly when applied. I could have actually enjoyed more ‘grit and grunt’ had they been added. Overall, Weapons Of Mass Seduction is an accessible album, loaded with familiar tracks that are obviously aimed at a wider audience and I suspect that this was planned on the heels of their Eurovision appearance.
A good one to dip your toe into the LotL discography.
Weapons of Mass Seduction is released on December 29th 2023 and is available on all streaming services and in several different versions of CD and Vinyl through Napalm Records.
Shock To The System – Billy Idol cover
Unstoppable – Sia cover
Smalltown boy – Bronski Beat cover
Turbo Lover – Judas Priest cover
Hymn – Ultravox cover
Give In To Me – Michael Jackson cover
River – Bishop Briggs cover
Somewhere Only We Know – Keane cover
(I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight [ft Anica Russo] – Cutting Crew cover
High – Zella Day cover
House On A Hill – The Pretty Reckless cover