In the 90s London After Midnight released "Selected Scenes from the End of the World" and "Psycho Magnet", two albums that are nowadays must-have classics in the collection of every Gothic listener. Irresistible melodies, sophisticated lyrics and of course the outstanding and distinctive voice of singer and mastermind Sean Brennan charmed both critics and fans and launched them on the same level with Goth-legends like The Sisters of Mercy or The Cure. But then, after the release of "Oddities" in 1998, there was only silence. Though the new album and its title have been announced on some festival gigs in the new century nothing happened - except of the re-releases of the old albums in 2003 and the announcement of an upcoming DVD, which was drawn back almost as fast as it was announced. Slowly the fans got the feeling that the Andrew Eldritch "We only live from our past" - tactic found its way to Los Angeles too.
Now, nine years, some re-recordings and line-up- changes later, the third regular LAM album is finally in stores. But was it really worth the long waiting?
"Violenct Acts of Beauty" can surely keep the level of the old releases. It is still unmistakable LAM, with that perfidious instinct for unforgettable melodies, but it is not an easy copy of something already heard. The songs are more rough and more extroverted, titles like "America`s a fucking disease", "The kids are all wrong" or "Feeling Fascist" offer the thematic and political direction: Anti-Bush. This is nothing really new nowadays but wrapped in an entertaining package. In contrast to this are songs like "Pure", "Heaven now" and the amazing "Love you to death", which does not only with their minimalistic sound remind of the acoustic tracks on "Oddities" but also show the more personal side of their creator. "Fear" should be known to most of the fans through the former release on the SAW II Soundtrack and "Nothing`s sacred" will easily replace "Sacrifice" as new club hit. Seems to be the opinion of the record company too, there is a remix of the song (and "Feeling Fascist") on the CD. For hardcore- fans, the limited Edition offers two another versions of the same song.
All in all a well-done album, that will for sure delight the fans, that did not gave up waiting. But if the new political attitude in times of KMFDM and Ministry can win new fans, that seems rather doubtful.