Everyone has a kind of a lust, a craving, or some kind of a fetish. A friend of mine for example craves horses. She adores horses and gets excited when they appear in a movie. As for myself, I mostly crave two things: Concept albums and about twenty three bands. And I am about to review a concept Metal album by one of these twenty three bands. It might have been more appropriate to begin with a disclaimer of how biased this article will be, but I am too biased to disclaim the biasedness of this article. So enjoy this biased review and following an interview with the lead vocalist of Dying Gorgeous Lies, Liz Gorgeous. Click here to jump straight to the interview.
Review of ‘The Hunter and the Prey’
The album was released on the 22th of March 2019, as the third album by Dying Gorgeous Lies following 2011’s ‘Insanitarium’ and 2015’s ‘First World Breakdown’. ‘The Hunter and the Prey’ is a post-apocalyptic concept album that is a revolution a new level of maturity in the band’s career!
‘The Hunter and the Prey’ is a musically rich album. The album has ten tracks that are each a musical piece full of well-made riffs, wonderful instrumentals and satisfying guitar solos. One thing I hate about some genres of modern Metal is the lack of solos. This was never the case for Dying Gorgeous Lies and especially in this album. Each song has a great guitar solo worth praising and most tracks have a lengthy instrumental part that mixes guitar solos with bass and great drumming.
Another thing to discuss when we talk about music is related to the nature of the album being a concept one. In ‘First World Breakdown’ the album kicked in with the fast and heavy track that holds the title’s name. There were no introductions just like good old Thrash! In this one however, the first track ‘From the Ashes/Hellfire’ begins with a gradual sound that builds in the mood and sets us in the settings for the concept the album carries. The bass on that track is also amazing. The second song sounds like an “anthem of chaos”, another wonderful song full of great music.
However my favourite song musically would be ‘New World Order’. That song is full of shifts between different tempos and rhythms. The non-continuity in that song is amazing. The addition of a permanent keyboard player to the band also enriched the album with some gorgeous melodies. One of them is the wonderful tune that plays just before the end of the second minute of the song, separating two heavy and fast parts of the song.
In general, ‘The Hunter and the Prey’ is a musical masterpiece in the world of Thrash Metal.
The album is simply full of lyrical greatness. Tracks like ‘…And As The Bombs Fell’, ‘Ancient Tales’, ‘Greetings from Aleppo’ and ‘Sweet Taste of Lies’ have so much emotions in them with lyrics so deep and touching. Images were drawn with words and the band was successfully able to blend the music with the deep lyrics to display the concept they wanted to show. The words are so well structured with so much beauty in them and what they’re telling. Below is an example of one of my favourite words said on this album.
“Raised by war
Fed with dirty sin
My veins pump hate
Instead of blood
My mission was
cut in my skin
splattered with mud…”Dying Gorgeous Lies – “We Are The Apocalypse” – “The Hunter and the Prey”
Here we speak about the performance of the band and how the album brought all the elements it had together. I already spoke about the intro of the album that is perfect to set a mood into the setting of the album. The performance of Liz Gorgeous is one to take note for. Her vocals are clear even when at the peak of her growling. She doesn’t seem like she’s making any effort to growl the lyrics and the surprising short but right on the mark clean vocals are teasingly wonderful. The album has great music and lyrics, and the hard-work and time the band put through the process of making of the album was greatly rewarded by the final result.
The symbolism in the cover is great. We see symbols of death, doom, uncertainty about future and destruction. We see in Liz’s face some signs of how life has become hard for human beings after that apocalypse. In general it is a beautiful cover that invites the viewer to listen to what’s behind.
Interview with Liz Gorgeous
Jad: Hello Liz! I’m very happy that I’m finally interviewing you. How are you today?
Liz: Hi Jad, I’m happy to talk to you too. I’m feeling great, it’s a busy weekend, we are in the middle of “The Hunter and the Prey” – Tour 2019. We played a show in Munich on Friday, I had two photo-shoots this weekend and am about to prepare some recordings for a project, where I’m doing guest vocals.
Jad: It has been 10 years since you released your first demo as a band. How does it feel that Dying Gorgeous Lies is over 10 years old?
Liz: Dying Gorgeous Lies is our baby and it’s exciting to watch it grow and develop. Time flies, it’s unbelievable that we are talking about 10 years of band history.
Jad: During these 10 years you’ve released three studio albums, the latest being this year’s ‘The Hunter and the Prey’. Can you tell us a bit about this new album?
Liz: “The Hunter and the Prey” is kind of a concept album. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic scenario in the year 2079. The world as we know it has been destroyed by a great war, the so-called “great dying”. The survivors form in small tribes to secure their own survival.
We have released 2 music videos to the songs “Fatal Craving” and “From the ashes / Hellfire” so far.
Together with the new record we have created a complete new live show, an insane post-apocalyptic wasteland party with a lot of special effects and fun.
Jad: How is the new record similar to older DGL releases and how is it different?
Liz: What is similar to the older records is the way how we write songs. The basic idea for a song usually comes from Mashl. We jam to it in the rehearsal room and then I write my vocal melodies and lyrics on the more or less complete track.
The main difference is that we decided to increase our line-up with our keyboard player Jay’Na D. This change is in my opinion a huge enrichment for our sound, we sound more melodic than ever and it brings a new color to the music. For the first time I also have some clean vocal parts on this record. In my eyes it’s great to play with all the variety that we have, makes the music more interesting and diversified.
Jad: ‘The Hunter and The Prey’ has many amazing songs, but the one that touched me most is ‘Greetings From Aleppo’. It’s about the chemical bombing in Aleppo I think? What is the purpose of making such songs? Is it just to express the emotions you felt hearing such awful things on the news? Or also a way to make people more aware and more caring about these tragedies?
Liz: The song “Greetings from Aleppo” is about the situation of the civilian population in the Syrian city Aleppo in the end of the year 2016. Government decided to closure the population in the city and threatened to kill them with chemical bombing cause parts of the city have been held by rebel fighters.
Residents started to film goodbye messages to the world and post them on social media. These videos went viral and were in my eyes one of the most impressive witnesses of the suffering of civilian population in the Syrian war.
I used to work for refugee help here in Germany in the time I wrote these lyrics and I needed to make a song about these videos because they left some traces in my soul. In my country voices against refugees get louder and louder still in these days, so I think it’s necessary to remind those people that nobody decides to become a refugee and leave everything behind for no reason.
Jad: Your music has a lot of elements from classic Thrash Metal. What bands inspired and influenced you most to make your unique sound?
Liz: I guess for our style is responsible that we don’t have like “that one band” or style that influences our writing. We all listen to different kinds of music, from Thrash over Glam to Power, Dark or Black Metal. So everybody kind of brings their own style into our music and that’s what makes it unique.
Jad: When I first listened to your voice I said that you sound like you have the thunderbolt of Zeus in your vocal chords because of how powerful it is. And I feel like your vocals keep getting better and better one album after the other. How hard do you practice to maintain and improve your vocals?
Liz: (haha) thank you very much for that comparison. Well, truth is that I work damn hard on my vocals, I practice every day, I work with 3 different vocal coaches right now in different styles of clean singing and screaming. I love to learn and to develop new shades in my voice and I’m learning so much new stuff right now. It’s really amazing. There’s a lot still in the pipeline that can’t wait to get released to an audience.
Jad: Did you grow up listening to Metal? What bands attracted you into the scene?
Liz: I did grew up with music. My daddy always listened to music, but mostly Blues or Rock’n’Roll. I was introduced to Rock and Metal music by friends (thank you guys so much!). I was teased to metal by bands like Metallica, Machine Head, Pantera or Sepultura.
Jad: Your popularity on social media keeps growing day by day. What causes or human rights would you use this ability to reach people to promote?
Liz: Definitely animal rights. I live vegetarian or vegan for almost 20 years now and I could write a whole novel about animal right and the need to make this a topic in every day conversation. It’s not only about not eating meat, it’s the whole way people should see and respect animals as equal to humans.
Another topic I’d like to promote is mental health awareness. Issues like depression or anxiety are so common in our world but people dealing with them are kind of stigmatized and have to suffer in silence. Many people fear to seek for professional help cause they are afraid of the stigma.
Jad: Many of my friends, when they knew I’m going to interview you, wanted me to ask you about your tattoos. And you have some wonderful ones. Can you tell us a bit about your tattoos?
Liz: I only got 3 of them yet and all of them tell a story.
I got a ginkgo leaf between my shoulders that reminds me of my grandpa who passed away in 2016. We were really close and this is not a memory tattoo, I got it when he was still alive to symbolize our connection.
I got a bio-mechanical alien butterfly on my hip that has to do with my own mental health history.
And the last one I got is my left arm that is kind of about everything I believe in and want to keep in my mind: the elephant that symbolizes the need to take care of the world that surrounds us, connected with the steampunk air-balloon that is the globe and a little Om-symbol on a flag… reminding me of my wish since childhood to travel the world, getting to know as much as possible about other cultures, languages, people, always staying interested and open-minded and also not forgetting to sometimes take time for myself to just breathe. A lot combined in one tattoo, but in my head it makes sense (hahaha).
Jad: Last year you won Athena Award for best Extreme Metal vocalist in FemMetal Awards. You get a huge number of votes from your fans although you were in against some very popular bands. How do you feel about your fans’ support and the growing ‘Wasteland Clan’?
Liz: To be honest I was surprised to win this award cause the other nominees were pretty strong and some popular names among them, but it showed me that our fan base is strong and really supportive. I am still really happy to win this award, it made some impact in the music industry. The fans are a huge part in why we are doing what we do. I am happy for every single fan coming around at a show, having fun at the concert, talking to me after the show at the merch, commenting on my social media. That’s also a reason why I am so present on social media, it’s kind of giving something back, keeping the fans posted about what we as a band, or me as an artist do.
The wasteland clan is an inner group of fans that we created on Facebook. There are some special actions and events for the members for example at our shows and they receive an inner sight and some more personal information.
Jad: Thank you for the interview Liz! I wish you success for the remainder of ‘The Hunter and the Prey’ tour and for future projects and wish to see you live before the real apocalypse hits!
Liz: I hope so too! Thank you very much for the interview.
Join the Wasteland Clan on Facebook.
Follow Dying Gorgeous Lies on social media