CD 1:
01. Shock To The System
02. Unstoppable
03. Smalltown Boy
04. Turbo Lover
05. Hymn
06. Give In To Me
07. River
08. Somewhere Only We Know
09. (I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight (feat. Anica Russo)
10. High
11. House On A Hill
CD 2:
12. The Look (feat. Blümchen)
13. Ordinary Town
14. Cha Cha Cha
15. Judas
16. Children Of The Damned
17. Wig In A Box
18. Bad Romance
19. The Most Radical Thing To Do
20. This Is The Life
21. It’s A Sin
22. Ordinary World

However one chooses to slice it, LORD OF THE LOST had an excellent 2023. Already a big deal in Germany, the industrial rock diehards scored their first number one album at the start of the year with the darkly immaculate “Blood & Glitter” and spent the rest of the year reveling in a new level of international acclaim, a fruitful appearance at the Eurovision Song Contest included. As with that last album, “Weapons Of Mass Seduction” was sneaked out at the tail end of the year: an odd decision, commercially speaking, but arguably indicative of the immense confidence the band are feeling right now. A covers album, offered as a thank you to their loyal fan base, “Weapons…” deigns to keep people entertained until the next studio album. Gothic altruism, if you will.

As any student of heavy music knows, covers albums can be anything from audacious to abominable, often depending on how much imagination is being used to reinterpret each classic or influential song. “Weapons Of Mass Seduction” sits somewhere in the middle, offering little in the way of revelation, but plenty of hugely enjoyable moments. It helps that LORD OF THE LOST have great, if predictable, taste. The album starts with a tremendous version of BILLY IDOL‘s “Shock To The System” (from his much-maligned but actually pretty great “Cyberpunk” album from 1993) that fits perfectly in this band’s musical world, while rocking much harder than expected. Elsewhere, the focus is on revived nuggets from the ’80s synthpop era. BRONSKI BEAT‘s “Smalltown Boy” and PET SHOP BOYS“It’s A Sin” receive the kohl-eyed, goth metal upgrades they deserve, while ULTRAVOX‘s gorgeously pompous “Hymn” is rendered in three retina-scorching dimensions, its original sense of pious yearning replaced with glowering menace.

Laudably, LORD OF THE LOST have also picked sides in the debate about JUDAS PRIEST‘s “Turbo” and its controversial use of synthesizers. Their version of “Turbo Lover” is glorious and helpfully joins the dots between the original and the ’90s industrial scene, with frontman Chris “The Lord” Harms taking Rob Halford‘s melodies down an octave, with deliciously gloomy results.

The rest of “Weapons Of Mass Seduction” is a decidedly mixed bag. An icy, blank-eyed take on MICHAEL JACKSON‘s “Give In To Me” has a certain sinister charm, and SIA‘s “Unstoppable” demonstrates how easily a great pop song can be co-opted into LORD OF THE LOST‘s sonic world. The bluesy thump of BISHOP BRIGGS‘s “River” is deftly assimilated into the Germans’ morose, swaggering electro-rock, but KEANE‘s “Somewhere Only We Know” is too intrinsically sweet and simple to make much sense in this context. In contrast, LORD OF THE LOST play CUTTING CREW‘s “(I Just) Died In Your Arms” far too straight and earnest, when they probably should have maximized the lyrics’ morbid potential and gone Full Goth instead. Several other songs suffer in the same way, but largely because when “Weapons Of Mass Seduction” is good, it’s genuinely great, and its many lackluster moments are a drag on its overall flow. Of course, diehard fans will savor every last drop: from a feisty stomp through LADY GAGA‘s “Bad Romance”, to a grimly melodramatic version of IRON MAIDEN‘s “Children Of The Damned”. Goths can have fun too, you know.

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