Deine Lakaien – April Skies

Deine Lakaien has evolved over the years from an obscure darkwave act to a mature band on a big label which is no stranger to the (German) charts. Their melancholic and romantic music is apparently something which appeals to a bigger audience than just the goth scene. A characteristic element of Deine Lakaien is the expressive voice of frontman Alexander Veljanov. Furthermore Ernst Horn (production/keyboards) is a very experienced and versatile musican. The band is known for an original mixture of pop and wave, with classical, electronic and soundscape elements.

“April Skies” is meanwhile their seventh or eight album, not counting live and reissue albums. I must say I was not completely convinced by the previous work “White Lies”, only half of the songs appealed to me, the preceding album “Kasmodiah” was stronger in my opinion. So far my impression of “April Skies” is quite positive. Don’t expect too much innovation, it contains typical Deine Lakaien work. But in general the song material is very strong. Horn and Veljanov certainly still know how to create melodic songs with interesting sound combinations and enough emotional appeal.

The single ‘Over and done’ starts as a modern electro pop tune, but due to the warm voice of Veljanov it quickly sounds familiar. Nice element in this dynamic song are the string instruments, which also start the next song ‘Slowly comes my night’. This is a typical romantic Deine Lakaien ballad full of longing, reminding of classics like ‘Love me till the end’.

A midtempo poppy song like ‘Secret hideway’ is solid and ‘Vivre’ is surprising with its French lyrics, though not with its sound. Apart from string instruments, it is also noticeable that guitars play a more prominent part than before, in songs like ‘Midnight sun’ and ‘Heart made to be mine’. Though most of the songs are worthwhile, a few could have been omitted in my opinion: I really don’t like the fast beats and vocal style of ‘Take a chance’ and ‘Through the hall’ is too hectic for my taste.

“April Skies” is not a revolutionary work by Deine Lakaien, but it is certainly again a convincing album from these talented musicians and songwriters.

artist: Deine Lakaien
label: Capitol Music
details: 12 tracks, 2005