2 Human Nature
3 Leaves in the Stream
5 In Disguise
6 The Ones Who’ve Hurt You
8 The Necropolis of Former Lovers
9 The Folly of Love
10 A Romantic Guy
11 The Necropolis of Former Lovers
(Midnight in the Mausoleum Mix)
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Aurelio Voltaire’s 11th album from 2017
Dark cabaret artist Aurelio Voltaire leaves the vampires, zombies and murder ballads behind for a heart-wrenching collection of songs about love gained and love lost. His eleventh studio album (and first Projekt release in a decade) sees Voltaire crafting his most mature and passionate release to date.
Throughout his 20-year career Voltaire has danced on the dark side with a sardonic smile, penning such tunes as “Zombie Prostitute” “Cannibal Buffet” and “Vampire Club.” He’s best known for “When You’re Evil” (from 1999’s debut The Devil’s Bris), a jaunty celebration of naughtiness befitting a Disney villain (as evidenced by the scores of Disney villain fan videos on youTube set to the song.) Also a classic track, “Brains!” (from 2002’s Boo Hoo) recounts an evil meteor hungry for human brains and was featured on the Cartoon Network show The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy.
With a reputation for macabre, tongue-in-cheek skewering of everything from religion to the Goth scene to Star Trek and Star Wars, Voltaire has his serious side, too. Every once in a while someone comes along and breaks his heart, and the result is an album of gut-wrenching songs. His 2002 outing, Boo Hoo, was described by Projekt as “a breakup record for lonely hearts with an ax to grind.” Well, it’s happened again! Heart~Shaped Wound goes past an 8.9 on the heartbreak scale. The result of a short but tumultuous three-month relationship – the first after his divorce in 2013 – Voltaire found himself writing new songs that were earnest, brimming with anguish, regret and yearning.
Known for releasing an album a year, Aurelio Voltaire spent three years crafting Heart~Shaped Wound in between his hectic touring schedule. Defying classification, the album drifts seamlessly from Goth rock to folk, from saxophone-fueled torch songs to guitar driven indie-rock. There’s even an intense heavy metal ballad, “Leaves in the Stream,” a duet sung with Arch Enemy frontwoman Alissa White-Gluz.
Aurelio Voltaire returns to Projekt, bringing with him 20 years of genre-defying musical storytelling. Often sarcastic, sometimes serious, always uniquely… Voltaire.
More about the album:
Heart~Shaped Wound began as the product of a short, but tumultuous relationship, the first after Aurelio Voltaire’s divorce from his wife in 2013. In the mere three months of this new relationship, Voltaire found himself writing several songs including the folk love song, “In Disguise” documenting the six times he fell in love with a cosplayer at Dragoncon (a huge fantasy convention in Atlanta, Georgia) not realizing it was the same woman year after year. The song, which is written in the anachronistic European folk style prevalent in his early albums contains not-so-subtle references to the World of Warcraft and League of Legends costumes she wore. “Human Nature,” a more contemporary alternative rock track that explores the issues of having a partner who suppresses their feelings could easily be about Spock.
This is not to say the songs are light-hearted. The songs on this album are earnest and full of emotion, perhaps most evident in the tracks, “The Ones Who’ve Hurt You,” a dirge which laments the damage inflicted on your partner by their previous encounters and “The Folly of Love,” an enraged condemnation which begs the question of who is more to blame. Is it the young, inexperienced lover or the older partner “in the throes of a midlife crisis” that chooses a partner half their age? Much of the album may seem like an attack on former lovers by a bitter ex. To this observation, Voltaire wryly declared with a smirk at a recent concert, “I’m fully aware I’ve become the Taylor Swift of Goth.”
But even the songs that seem to mock an ex lover, like the sarcastic swing track, “A Romantic Guy,” speak more to the faults of the author who states he is a romantic fellow but nothing deeper than that. The album opener, a goth rock track called “The Projectionist,” more than hints at the psychological shortcomings of our protagonist who seems downright nefarious in his sociopathic pursuit of a relationship.
It’s not all heartache on Heart~Shaped Wound. You can’t have a break up without falling in love and those moments shine here, too. “Leaves in the Stream” and “Butterfly” are euphoric declarations that love is in the air. And even though it’s a break-up song, Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is perhaps one of the most beautiful songs written on the topic, and it’s covered here admirably by Aurelio Voltaire.
Rounding out the album is the song “The Necropolis of Former Lovers” and its reprise “The Midnight Mausoleum Mix.” This alternative rock track that nods to bands like The Cure, The Church or Echo and the Bunnymen tells present lovers they should be wary of asking why you’ve written songs about your ex and not about them. The answer might be, “Don’t try so hard to dig a hole for your own grave,” or “You’ve finally made me sad enough to write that song about you.”
Aurelio Voltaire continues to defy classification on Heart~Shaped Wound, crafting an album that seamlessly drifts from Goth rock to folk, from saxophone fueled torch songs to guitar driven indie-rock. His voice and demeanor seem as comfortable in the sarcasm of the swing track as they do in the earnest heavy metal ballad.
Heart~Shaped Wound is Aurelio Voltaire’s 13th full length release and 11th studio album.
Aurelio Voltaire Bio
Aurelio Voltaire is often described as a modern day renaissance man. He is a singer/performer, creator of comic books, animation and toys.
An international touring musician, he is at the forefront of the Gothic, Steampunk and Dark Cabaret genres. Aurelio Voltaire headlines some of the biggest horror, sci-fi and comic book conventions as well as Gothic and Steampunk festivals during the past two decades. His music can best be described as a collection of murder ballads and tongue-in-cheek stories of the macabre, with just enough bawdy songs about Star Trek and Star Wars to keep a convention audience rolling in the aisles. Many know him for his songs “Brains!” and “Land of the Dead” from the Cartoon Network show The Grim Adventures of Billy And Mandy.
Voltaire’s live shows, whether solo or with his skeletal orchestra, are full of stories and games. Some describe his shows as sitting around a fire while an old friend regales you with tales, presuming that old friend drinks a liter of rum a night, dates zombie prostitutes and wrestles Krakens.
Voltaire has been recording and touring for over 20 years. He’s released 13 full length CDs.
Recently, Voltaire can be seen in his informative and hilarious YouTube series, Gothic Homemaking. In this show, that can best be described as Pee Wee’s Playhouse for spooky kids, he demonstrates how to turn your boring apartment into a gothic lair with the help of a desiccated co-host, Orville Deadenbacher and a bunch of other recurring monster characters.
Gothic Homemaking can be seen at: www.youtube.com/voltairemusicpage