By Venus Rittenberg, Contributor
[Self Released; 2021]
Key tracks: “PEACESIGN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”, “Concrete Bubble”, “Bulldozer”
Black Dresses have been broken up for nearly a year, which makes any release from them surprising, but few things could be as surprising and exciting as a brand new full-length album. This surprise release sees Black Dresses going even deeper into the spheres of industrial and metal that the band have flirted with since their inception. Forever In Your Heart sees both vocalists, Devi and Rook, at their most intense and aggressive –– and their best.
The album kicks off with a stellar opener, “PEACESIGN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” It begins with hammering guitars, immediately setting the tone of this album as the most industrial Black Dresses release. Rook is the first vocalist to sing on the song, and she begins the album with an absolutely stunning hook, singing “The red sky fading in the distance / The peace sign burning in a vision from God / Please help me.” Devi enters immediately after the end of this chorus with noisy, messy (in a good way) vocals reminiscent of their song “STATIC”. Both singers snarl and scream throughout the rest of this song, delivering apocalyptic and hopeless lyrics.
The next song, “Concrete Bubble,” features an even more industrial instrumental than “PEACESIGN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” The song’s title is fitting, it sounds like a construction site. Rook delivers her strongest vocals on the album here, screaming like a black metal vocalist. It’s a song that radiates intensity. After “Concrete Bubble” comes “Bulldozer,” a song that demands attention with it’s vulgar, shocking lyrics. “Pussy like a bulldozer, drooling and grinding,” sings Devi, over an utterly crushing instrumental. The bridge of the song contains the lyrics “I wanted to be like the other girls / Now I’m just like the other girls” — lyrics that convey the sentiments Devi and Rook share as trans women.
Although the album’s first few tracks are amazing, the rest of the album kind of pales in comparison, with screaming from both Rook and Devi being the main feature across Forever in Your Heart. So, is this a good note for Black Dresses to end on? This album likely doesn’t signal them getting back together, as the songs are from 2020 rather than consisting of newer material. This album sees Black Dresses in their element, with more ferocity than ever before, and it blows Peaceful As Hell away. It’s not their most cohesive album, but it is perhaps their most impassioned, and sometimes that matters more.