Deathstars are a Swedish gothic metal band, who despite having some commercial success in 2006, have remained fairly underground throughout their fourteen year long career.

Their debut record, Synthetic Generation, was released in 2003 and was heavily inspired by the sounds of Rammstein and Marilyn Manson. Although the sound was becoming increasingly overused by an army of mediocre industrial acts such as Mindless Self Indulgence and Dope, Deathstars’ debut effort was tinged with glam and packed a punch greater than that of their rivals. Deathstars take the best elements of Manson and supercharge them, leaving a sound characterised by whispered horror-themed lyrics, bubbling glam synths, electronic squeaks and tom-based drumming.

Their most successful period came with the release of their second effort Termination Bliss, and in particular, the leading tracks Blitzkrieg Boom and Cyanide. The album wasn’t too dissimilar from the last, except for the improvement in song writing which came about from learning to cut the fat, as well as the tasteful implementation of choral and orchestral elements to create richer and fuller textures (most notable on Motherzone and Termination Bliss).

Their third effort, Night Electric Night, saw the band taking a notable step towards the glam aspect of their sound, losing a lot of the heaviness found on the first two records. The main change was with Whiplasher Bernadotte’s vocals; they had begun to sound stale and unimaginative in places, to the point of being able to work out how he would sing the lyrics before the tracks had even been played.

The first track to be released from their upcoming fourth album, The Perfect Cult, unfortunately follows the same path. The track, entitled All The Devil’s Toys, has a chorus that once again could be copied and pasted onto anything from Night Electric Night and a musical basis that fails to impress. However, the greatest reason for my disappointment, is the fact that they have had five years to create this album, yet have only managed to mimic the worse aspects from Night Electric Night, and to me, that is inexcusable.

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