The Dead and Living
The Last Men Standing

01. Trauma Queens and Atheists
02. A Private Armageddon
03. The Sinagogue
04. While You Pray
05. The Devil’s Song
06. Anita Lash
07. Amethyst
08. Veni Vidi Amitto
10. The Last Men Standing

Coroner – Vocals
Gravedigger – Bass
Janitor – Guitar & Vocals
Manny – Guitar & Vocals
Vincent – Drums

Decadance (2010)


Recorded at Leon Music and Speedball Studios by Coroner.
Produced by Coroner and The Dead And Living.
Mixed and mastered by Rikard Löfgren at Leon Music.

Released 2013-03-28
Reviewed 2013-04-12

lightning records

Swedish quintet The Dead and the Living knows how to create dramatic gothic metal, at least that is what you are led to believe when hearing their latest album The Last Men Standing. It is their second album following their 2010 debut which I have not heard, to be honest I had never heard about the band before receiving a CD in the mail some weeks ago. I was impressed with what I got, the band has a nice graphical profile and their album is a showcase in how to do it when making gothic metal.

It is the style of goth metal that we have heard from giants HIM but also similar to their countrymen of To/Die/For and the similar bands of course, the deep voice and the darkish tones in a melodic downbeat sense of the way. Done at its best I think this kind of music is quite theatrical, like a drama by the giant dramatic writers like Shakespeare, Strindberg, Ibsen and a few more. Musical sounds go into your ears and then inside the brain the music is transformed into optical impulses showing you a drama on a small stage somewhere in a small, rather soggy, basement theatre venue. I think that is how I experience these guys and their Last Men Standing, good name of a drama it is as well. I can already see it in front of me, not that I am going to write it though as it would not be possible since I have no time left for anything other than what I already do.

The sound is excellent and I can clearly conclude that this is one of the best albums I have heard in this genre, not really a genre that I find many gems in but some bands I like. I also think that this album this far into 2013 is one of the five best albums I have heard, competing with Jolly for the title as the best of the five pointers. They are not quite good enough for the highest ratings we give out, but not far from it either as I was considering six points for this album for a fairly long time but when really sitting down and drawing up my analysis I concluded that it is not quite up there. I think the character of the album does that as there are some songs that feels pretty much like they are just filling up the album for it to reach 35 minutes, not that they are bad but they don’t really stand out either but half of the songs do.

The Sinagogoue, The Devil’s Song, Amethyst, Veni Vidi Amitto and the finishing title track are brilliant and they stand out like beacons amongst the other tracks which just pass by and then immediately when one of these come out the quality changes quite a bit and that is why I do not think this album is quite there in terms of overall quality but on the other hand it isn’t too far away either. It is a great drama and a great story taking place here and I must say that it is a really positive surprise and a great album, maybe not a timeless piece but with all the songs a bit closer to the best it could have been. No doubt that these guys have what it takes, it will be exciting to follow their progress in the future.

If you like this kind of gothic metal I am sure that you will enjoy this album as it is excellent and I cannot think of many albums in the genre that can challenge it. That is why I end with a conclusion that looks like this: a great theatrical drama in musical form and one that entertains brilliantly at its best. That’s what it is.



Label: Lightning Records
Three similar bands: HIM/Daedalean Complex/Icon & the Black Roses
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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