Bye Bye Lullaby is the second album by Swedish female fronted symphonic metal act The Murder of My Sweet. The 2012 release follows their debut Divanity (2010). The group’s line-up has largely changed between releases leaving only drummer and band leader Daniel Flores (a man with quite the impressive CV of band’s he’s in/been in) and vocalist Angelica Rylin in the current line-up.
Although the music is best described using metal terms as symphonic metal, if you broaden your perspective then Bye Bye Lullaby is essentially a pop album that just happens to have symphonic metal elements in it, and not very good ones at that. The music is just as often driven by more electronic sounding keyboards, which go in total contrast to the classical elements that symphonic metal is supposed to have, so there are rarely any moments of epic brilliance to be found during the album. The riffs are pretty bland as well and it definitely feels like all the instrumentation is deliberately held back to give Angelica Rylin the spotlight.
The woman has a really good voice to be fair, I won’t argue that or the fact that she should show it off, but on Bye Bye Lullaby she comes across as a singer who sounds like, both vocally and lyrically, that she’d rather be singing commercial pop music than any kind of metal music, even the more commercially inclined ones such as symphonic metal. If the music had a bit of bite or variety then that wouldn’t matter so much, but since I find the music generally lacking, with only the odd passage here and there that is semi-interesting, it makes Bye Bye Lullaby sound like a complete failure as a symphonic metal album.
Black September, near the end of the album, is easily the best track of the bunch, but even if the whole album has maintained a level of quality at the same level as found here then I still think we’d only be talking a middle of the road grade rating, or perhaps an above average one if I was feeling generous, but the fact that the bulk of the album either doesn’t work or comes across as generic actually makes me regard Bye Bye Lullaby as one of the weakest symphonic metal album’s I’ve ever encountered.
The songs are not so much bad as there are unremarkable, but the release has certain elements, particularly the electronic keyboard parts and the poppy vocals and lyrics, which makes me think that an even a fans only rating wouldn’t be appropriate, because I am a fan of the genre, even of the most commercially inclined bands of it such as Within Temptation, and, sadly, I don’t like Bye Bye Lullaby. There are good ideas present but overall they are just too few and far between to give the album any saving grace. It’s not unlistenable, nor it is very bad, but all the same, I’m unable to recommend it. It's a pity, because I do hear some clear potential in this one. All the music really needed was some epic qualities to make up for the commercial approach that have made the album sound like the most poppy metal album I've ever encountered, and this review would easily have taken a very different tone.
(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org))