LORD OF THE LOST are arguably one of the most hard-working bands in the metal scene. Last year they released “Judas,” one of their best and most successful albums (#2 German album charts) and for Christmas, they gifted us the beautiful concert titled “Festival of Love.” Mere months later, on May 6th, 2022, the band released the EP, “The Heartbeat of the Devil,” through Napalm Records, which contains three cover songs and two versions of the title track.
Those familiar with “Judas” already know the track, “The Heartbeat of the Devil,” and the two versions play around with various arrangements. The single edit that opens up this EP is more up-tempo and with a subtle ’80s-inspired pop feeling to it, making it feel brighter and bouncier than the album version. On the other hand, the arresting piano version that closes up the EP is more emotional and soulful, with more depth and texture coming from Chris Harms’s delivery. When you have just an instrument accompanying the vocals, emotions come bubbling up to the surface more freely, and that is the case with the piano version of the EP’s title track.
In between, there are cover songs taken from various artists, but when put together with the band’s artistic vision and craft, these songs morph and become an integral part of LORD OF THE LOST’s sound and thus feel at home in their discography, and consequently, on this EP. “Judas” is not the first Lady Gaga song that LORD OF THE LOST covered, the band having performed renditions of both “Bad Romance” (full band) and “Paparazzi” (piano acoustic). Also, covering a song whose title inspired their own conceptual album seems like a logical step to take. In their hands, “Judas” still retains its original pop vibe, mood, and melody, but the heavy use of bass and synthesizers to emphasize the rhythm makes it feel more well-rounded and better suited for a metal release. Moreover, Harms’ vocal tone adds to the overall darker atmosphere of the track.
The almost minimalistic approach to “Children Of The Damned” (IRON MAIDEN cover) makes it the peak of the EP. The morose vocals take front stage here, while cello, piano, and drums are more in the background, creating ambiance and texture, while framing Harms’ delivery beautifully. This makes the track all the more impactful and haunting. The buildup leads to an intense instrumental interplay between piano, cello, and bass that adds a profound LORD OF THE LOST touch to the song, thus making it their own. The last cover is “Wig In A Box” from the rock musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” (2001). Boasting lyrics that talk about the life of an artist and the need to put up a show even when you’re not feeling like it, this track must have hit home for the band. Their version really captures the essence of the original. From the soulful start with just piano and vocals, to the more up-tempo and playful middle, all the way to the heavier climax, this cover encompasses many different moods and transitions neatly between them all.
Talking about the EP and how it came to be, the band had this to say:
“With the pandemic and the unplanned free time – you can spontaneously record three cover versions of songs that move you at the moment. But why these three songs? ‘Judas’ by Lady Gaga should be self-explanatory due to the title overlap with our current album. ‘Children Of The Damned’ is a nod to our summer tour hosts, IRON MAIDEN, who booked us as a support band. And ‘Wig In A Box’… well, if you don’t know the movie musical ‘Hedwig And The Angry Inch,’ you should definitely change that. We saw the movie one day and one of us yelled, ‘let’s cover that song!’ – and as it always is with us, every spontaneous idea is put into action. Or at least it’s tried.”
To sum it up, this EP was made, not because the band had something new to say to their audience, but because they had found some songs that they had connected with emotionally and wanted to share them with the world. Personally, I don’t see this EP as a continuation of “Judas” or an attempt to expand that universe. On the contrary, “The Heartbeat of the Devil” EP is like a stand-alone single, a moment in time that resonated with the band, and should be treated as such. So, take this EP at face value and enjoy it for what it offers.
Written by Andrea Crow
1. The Heartbeat Of The Devil (Single Version)
2. Judas (Lady Gaga Cover)
3. Children Of The Damned (Iron Maiden Cover)
4. Wig In A Box (Hedwig And The Angry Inch Cover)
5. The Heartbeat Of The Devil (Piano Version)
Chris Harms – vocals, guitar, cello
Pi Stoffers – guitar
Class Grenayde – bass
Gared Dirge – piano, synthesizer, percussion, guitar
Niklas Kahl – drums