On September 2nd, just in time for DragonCon, Sarah and Braxton of Valentine Wolfe released their much-anticipated 2022 album Lullabies, Love Songs, and Laments. For those new to the group, Valentine Wolfe performs gothic metal inspired by seances, 19th century gothic literature, and classical music. Combining the haunting soprano of Sarah Black and the bleak maelstrom of Braxton Ballew’s solo double bass, the only muse they follow is their own.
When describing their latest work, Sarah Black wrote:
Well, we started writing these songs about one year ago as we write one song every month for The Valentine Society (our Patreon). Braxton told me that even though he loves it when I set the poetry of other people, he also really enjoys hearing me sing my own lyrics. He challenged me to write a whole album of lyrics where I could quote the occasional bit of literature but otherwise try to provide a contrast album to Only Gossamer My Gown which featured the poetry of Emily Dickinson. We started writing songs for our Patreons and after a few songs, I started to see the barest glimmer of a pattern emerging. Hence the title.
However, in retrospect, the love songs are all pretty sad and deal with the part of a relationship that sometimes can best be characterized as heartbreak. So love certainly did happen, but then love was lost.
Love is the great devourer.
Reverie is one of the Lullabies. Doom Metal is a thing and we’ve been listening to a lot of slower sad metal songs by some of our favorite melodic death metal bands. We figured that a lullaby could also sound very much like a Doom Metal track.
While we’ve been experimenting with bass layers and vocal layers for several albums now, I am particularly happy with how the layers in this song turned out! I can feel that haunted house vibe surrounding me if I listen with headphones. We love to think that all the layers in our songs could be ghosts floating around the listener as they journey through a haunted house. And of course we love movies and TV shows where themes of mental illness are explored in the context of horror or a good ghost story.
Telling fantastical stories has long been a way for people to explore topics that societies don’t like to deal with head on: death, grief, loss, and mourning in particular. We have watched people struggling with grief and wanting to talk about it but not finding a receptive audience until they contextualize it within a more comfortable environment of a fantastical story.
Check out their latest album on Spotify by clicking below. Valentine Wolfe is 100% independent and fan supported. If you like what you hear, make sure to buy their music and check out some of their upcoming appearances.