is LOVE alive ? – Final Journey Album Review

is LOVE alive ? – Final Journey

Album Review By Rainer Kerber

Germany is certainly not a stronghold of Doom Metal. All the better if you discover a band dedicated to this genre. Behind the somewhat bulky name “is LOVE alive?” Is a quartet from the Ruhr area (North Rhine-Westphalia). Founded in 2009, the musicians had set themselves the goal of creating music with heavy riffs, hypnotic grooves and melancholy vocals (source of the band’s Facebook page). From the founding lineup is only guitarist Thomas Pieper left. Between 2010 and 2014, three demo EP’s were released. The recording work for the first album dragged on, among other things, because even three members have left the band. In 2017 a new era for is LOVE alive? have begun. Since this year, a woman is standing at the microphone with Anne Brandenburg. A very interesting recommendation that I found in the section “From the Underground” in Rock Hard Magazine.

Calm, majestic sounds, low tuned guitars and a dark female voice. These are the ingredients that is LOVE alive? to mix their interpretation of Doom Metal. A sound like from the early days of Black Sabbath. Do not you think so? Then listen to the opener “Edis Rehto”. This is followed by the title track “Final Journey” seamlessly. Just listen, relax and enjoy. With “Seperate Darkness (From Light)”, guitarist Thomas Pieper puts his heavy riffs on top. A little faster than before and a bit more rhythmic. And also the voice of singer of Anne Brandenburg sounds more insistent and powerful. “Plastic Jesus” starts first melodic and could come from the time of the flower children. Yes, if not the deep riffs would strike again massively soon afterwards. These remind me a little bit of Candlemass. The tempo acceleration from the middle of the song also sounds like the Swedish doom masters. And in contrast to Anne’s clear voice is then also a growling male voice to be heard. Similarly varied in tempo and melody changes is the following slightly psychedelic “Against”. Once again in Sabbath waters, the musicians from the Ruhr area cruise with “The Cross I Carry”. But wait, the ingenious Hammond organ part does not quite fit into this picture. The instrumental “Purple Starship Blues” is from my point of view rather dispensable. These sound experiments do not fit into the overall concept of the album. For this you will be compensated again with the bouncer “Army of the Lost.” This is another of the faster songs. Later, the whole thing turns into a Speed Doom smasher. Again, the clear vocals of Anne Brandenburg are counteracted by more or less harsh male growls.

OMG what an amazing Doom album LOVE alive ? have published. That’s forty-five minutes of epic Doom as I like it. But there are, unfortunately, 4:45 minutes, which are simply rushed past just me, without leaving a lasting impression. Thus, “Final Journey” barely missed the highest rating.

Picture: Oliver Lückmann

is LOVE alive ? Album-Promo “Final Journey”:


Thomas Pieper – Guitars
Sascha Sievers – Bass
Falko Bröggelwirth – Drums
Anne Brandenburg – Vocals

Label: Self distributed

Out: December 6th, 2018

Playing time: 49:52

Track list:

  • Edis Rehto
  • Final Journey
  • Seperate Darkness (From Light)
  • Plastic Jesus
  • Against
  • The Cross I Carry
  • Purple Starship Blues
  • Army of the Lost

Rating : 9/10

MHF Magazine/Rainer Kerber