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scarletdorn bloodredbouquet
Artist: Scarlet Dorn
Title: Blood Red Bouquet
Genre: Dark Rock
Release Date: 29th January 2021
Label: Oblivion / SPV

Album Review

All the right elements are there. Debut album successfully behind you, tours supporting big names completed, previous link with LORD OF THE LOST namechecked and utilised, strong image and imagery aimed squarely, like a ruby-encrusted Gothic dagger, at the heart of every Romantic Dark Rock fan squeezing into a corset or second-skin leathers… it’s been a carefully orchestrated rise for SCARLET DORN, and there’s a lot to be said for forward planning. But on second album ‘Blood Red Bouquet’, how to get everything kicked up a notch? To really get things noticed?

Easy. The answer is Sven Friedrich of course. The man behind DREADFUL SHADOWS, ZERAPHINE and SOLAR FAKE, lends his vocals to ‘Proud And Strong’, and it’s a shrewd move, as this stand-out track is certainly the best entry point into ‘Blood Red Bouquet’. It has all the drama and emotional clout you would expect from him, and the mix of voices is perfect. Big of chorus, it stomps around like a NIGHTWISH / WITHIN TEMPTATION peacock, ruffling those ridiculous feathers without a care for the real world. Take Sven out of the mix and what are we left with? Opening track ‘Scorched By A Flame So Dark’ is perfectly representative of what is contained within. Well sung, well produced, words that rhyme, bits of piano chucked in here and there, a pause before the chorus, a bridge made of Lego, BONNIE TYLER gazing from a castle turret in the mist… perhaps I lose myself, apologies.

There’s just something a bit factory-assembled to the product here. On ‘Back To The Ground’, there’s a much more interesting melody. Plus, some emotive trilling, and that all important change of pace here and there to, oh I don’t know, show the contrast between light and dark, good and evil, something like that. It all continues, with the schmaltzy ‘Love Has No Colour But Love’ (I mean come on, that just doesn’t work as a title now does it?) or the flutter through the minor chords on ‘One day’. There’s absolutely nothing wrong here in a sense - it’s fully competent and fully formed, but so thoroughly packed with cliché it’s a miracle it all doesn’t collapse under the weight of its own golden petal sky of dragon’s tears flowery love flame (ok, I’ll stop now).

As the album progresses you are left with the unmistakable feeling that this isn’t something you wish to be unkind about - it genuinely feels like a lot of love and belief has gone into it, and the songs themselves are all competent examples of the genre. There are attempts to push the boundaries occasionally. ‘True Love Is Mad’ is bluesy and odd, and messes about with its own structure, and ‘Loss of Gravity’ (if you don’t listen too closely to the lyrics) would have given EVANESCENCE a run for their ballad money back in the day. But there is simply too much of the unforgivable here, drifting around in the candelabra and cobweb festooned smoke-filled studio, to allow the highlights to reveal themselves. ‘My Bionic Misery’ is every bit as wretched as the title implies.

Despite a meaty show of strength on final track ‘Until The Waters Run Dry’, ‘Blood Red Bouquet’ sounds very much like the work of a band who are destined to be pulled along on the skirts of those titans who strode the muddy pathways before them, the perennial bridesmaid in black. But there’s always Sven, right?


01. Scorched By A Flame So Dark
02. Back To The Ground
03. Proud And Strong (feat Sven Friedrich)
04. Love Has No Colour But Love
05. One Day
06. Hope Is Here
07. I Suffocate
08. Are You Watching Me
09. True Love Is Mad
10. Forests
11. My Bionic Misery
12. Loss Of Gravity
13. Until The Waters Run Dry


Scarlet Dorn – Vocals
Gared Dirge – Piano
Bengt Jaeschke – Guitars
Benji Mundigler – Bass
Henrik Petschull – Drums


Cover Picture

scarletdorn bloodredbouquet


Music: 5
Sound: 5
Total: 5 / 10

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