:CD Review: Blutengel – Tränenherz

Blutengel – Tränenherz
Released: February 18, 2011
Label: Out of Line Music
Website: blutengel.de

Review By: Todd A Gusler

Blutengel, German for Blood Angel, is a true spirited ride in the ever-growing world of goth and vampyric subculture. In their continuous strive to let us know what their hearts and souls feel and speak as a vampire living in a world of complete darkness, this German pop group, better classified as synthpop or futurpop in my opinion, embarks and releases their 7th full-length album that lets loose a whole new side of Blutengel. The rhythmic beats and pulsating synths not only make you feel the true depth that comes from the writer’s heart, it brings back the sensational club music feel they brought before with songs like “Vampire Romance” and “Angel of the Night”. Chris Pohl always tells a story with his albums, ever since I have listened to Blutengel the first time through. This album differs no less. Songs based almost entirely on love gained and lost between vampire and human, and how the children of the damned question the gift of immortality. Lets take a look at the album (Story Book) Chris Pohl and his project Blutengel have put together for us, titled Tränenherz, German for Tear Heart.

Track#1 – Tränenherz? (Prologue)
Like beginning a movie or opening a book to the first page, Blutengel invites us into their world with this truly orchestral intro, giving the listener the feeling of gloom, death and no return. I would connect the sounds with the beginning of an old 70′s horror movie. Eerie whistles and a crack of thunder can be heard, with rain pounding down on what one imagines to be an old cemetery or chapel. You hear a heartbeat, slowly beating with anticipation, as another crack of thunder is heard. The bells of the tower begin to ring, sounding the chime of midnight and the time of the undead to arise and hunt for prey.

Track#2 – Ãœber den Horizont- (German for Over the Horizon)
-German Lyrics-
Pohl’s ravishing German accent dominates this song and opens the door to the torment that the children of the night endure. Beginning with some upbeat synths coming to join with a true club 4 to the floor drumbeat. Lyrics translate to a female feeling the confusion of whether she wishes to walk the world she is in now alone, or shall she take to the side of her dark prince. With a chorus that chimes even in German it’s easily understood. Come to me Come to me with your wings and fly with me over the horizon through the night out. The female vocalist gets a moment to shine at time mark 2.45, as to sing back to her partner and let him know she hears him, but is not sure what path she wishes to take yet. The synths make this a pleasant body moving dance floor filler. Highlighted sections contradict

Track#3 – The Lost Children
-English Lyrics-
The beat begins and the new anthem of 2011 erupts for the Goths and Vampires of the club scene. Synths emit with a chime VST mixed in with each tone giving it an almost eerie church gospel sound. The song tells a story of being the “children” of the night, and Phol seemingly trying to explain the life of his kindred. He is trying to entice the sweet young thing that he is speaking with to come to his dark lifestyle and rid themselves of their pesky beating heart. The chorus, emitting lines that will be ominous in the underground goth scene: “We’re the lost children, can you hear us calling. Voices of doom echoing in your head. We’re the lost children can you hear us singing. Songs of despair – we’re infecting your soul” This is by far one of my more favorite tunes on this album. It has that “poppy” club-appeal that Blutengel is known for, you can’t help but bob your head and sing the lyrics that invade your head are easily becoming chant like second nature.

Track#4 – Save Me
-English Lyrics-
This track starts with a slower tempo and Pohl comes back to what he is known for, enticing the listener with the depth of his dark heart heard in musical verse. With a simplistic tempo and a barely audible drumbeat, there for no other reason then to keep a slow rhythmic beat. This song goes to the other side of the Vampire soul. The question is asked in this song, do you feel that you can bring me back to a happier soul? Will you try to make me smile, and have me see things in a light that doesn’t involve the coldness of the night and death. This song is in my opinion very simplistic but very powerful. Especially when his two lovely female companions back him up in chorus. Ending the song out continuing to say: “Will you try to save me? Will you try, will you try?”

Track#5 – Irgendwann – (German for Sometime)
-German Lyrics-
This song is written with a hypothetical and asks when will we see each other again? Why is it that I only see you in my dreams and not by my side while I am awake. Does the world continue to revolve, and will we see each other again. The subtle piano sound that is used in this song gives it that peppy sounding tune like I would become accustomed to in a Apoptygma Berzerk song. I love the way the female vocalist gets mixed in the middle with the fading verse coming back in and the piano touching each note hard to emphasize the songs intentions as it comes closer to the end of piece. I catch myself bobbing my head to this song with the beat every time I hear it.

Track#6 – The Watcher
-English Lyrics-
In this song, Pohl does something I am not use to hearing him do. He uses a vocoder to give his voice a slight robotic vibe to it. I will be quite honest I think the effect gives the tune, and the lyrics when he chooses, a depth of being almost surreal and dream like. This song makes me picture an image in my head. I want you to remember Bram Stokers Dracula, specifically the scene where Vlad is watching over Mina in the bedroom with out her knowing. The lyrics state as he watches his love every night he watches as she gets older and older with time. But even as his love gets older, he continues to watch over her every night, for his feelings are so deep for her. The synths are very deep and tantalizing in this song and the drumbeat is steady enough for anyone to just get up and move in any fashion the darkness brings them to do so.

Track#7 – Ordinary Darkness
-English Lyrics-
Beginning with a driving low-end synth line, the female vocalists dominate this tune, and do it in a perfect harmony. With a synth change, Pohl opens up from behind the shadows with a lower tone and adds his few lines to the chorus. The drumbeat is truly the driving force of this song. The synths are a lot quieter in this track and the vocals of the female singer and Pohl mix in perfect with the twinkling sound of the synths (no this is not any reference or otherwise to something Twilight movie related). But the driving bass is what gives this song its heartbeat and body movement.

Track#8 & 9 – Reich mir die Hand & Down on My Knees
German Lyrics – English Lyrics
“Reich mir die Hand” starts out with a slow building piano and a bouncing club beat coming up behind it and pouncing, making the listener definitely move with the beat. Translated into English “Reich mir die Hand” means “Give me your hand” and this song invites the listener as they have just been turned to the dark world of the undead. I picture this would have been a good tune to have been fit into Interview with a Vampire when Louis was turned by Lestat. “Give me your hand together, burning our world is, our pride and our blood for all eternity.”

Down on my knees, has that eerie like old Halloween feel to it. Using a bell tower tone for its background with a piano for the base of the melody and a layered synth over top of that. Topped off by a silent cymbal and drumbeat the song is soulfully lyrical. This song gives the impression more of a person fearing the cold hand of death coming for them. The chorus sings “Give me your hand together, burning our world is, our pride and our blood for all eternity”. I get the impression this song is the fear of death before being able to know if the one you truly love knows it. This song is performed as a duo, and the female vocalist accompanying him is a perfect fit to Pohl. Another song fitting in the story book, perfectly in place.

Track#10 – Doomsday
-English Lyrics-
This song reminds me of classic Blutengel. I will be honest when I heard the opening synth, I immediately get transported to the old club classic “Vampire Romance”. This song has a very similar layout to that one; however, the lyrics for this one really kind of took me by surprise. I have listened to this song over and over and I get it as an aftermath as the world was destroyed from a giant disaster or possible nuke? But the lyrics stating “walking over frozen oceans, we see no trees, we see no sun.” This is truly bringing to reality the idea of the end of the world and two beings are the last to see the end of the world.
- It’s doomsday – and the world falls down.

Track#11 – Undone
-English Lyrics-
With this song, Pohl continues to display his fear of being alone and awaiting his demise. The piano sounds like an old school toy piano and an echo effect in the chorus makes it seem as if he has something singing with him. This song is very down tempo and laid back. It’s as if in this chapter he is accepting the fate of death to come to him and as he waits, he explains all the pain he feels. Undone.

Track#12 – The End
-English Lyrics-
This song is completely female vocalist. This song really has a good beat to it. I love the synths in this, the drums are definitely club worthy.

Track#13 – Das andere Ich – (German for The Other Me)
So I have listened to this song like 5 times in a row and I still get the same reaction from it. I personally think if this had a harsher drum beat, it would be a Nachtmahr song. I get the feeling from the harshness in the song and I will be quite honest, I think this is my absolute favorite on this album. It has a little more harsh sound to it, and yet still works with the female vocalists. The synths on this are very club peppy, making me want to get out of my chair and dance.

Track#14 – Ein Augenblick – (German for A Moment)
The Final chapter to the book that Pohl has written with this Blutengel album. The soft piano chords are matched with his voice and a small chorus behind him just fills in the bits where the soft beat of the drum is not playing. This song tells a story of what I can only put together as a lost love. A woman holds on to this man that she will never see again, but never forgets the image in her head. Chorus: And her soul died in that moment and her heart turned to stone and she knew he never coming back, she wanted to be with him forever but she was left alone. The mood has been set and the story has been completed. Love was found and love was lost. The book has been completed in musical verse. Only thing left is the outro… the back cover to the book.

Track#15 – Tränenherz (Outro)
The final track like the intro is an orchestral piece with a very serious but sullen piano chord, followed by a devious chorus of voice until it just ends in one last chord. Putting the final mark on a story of Vampire love, mystery and lore.

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