Published on Sunday, 31 July 2016 22:43
Band: Lacrimas Profundere
Album title: Hope Is Here
Release date: 12 August 2016
01. The Worship Of Counting Down
02. My Halo Ground
03. Hope Is Here
05. A Million Miles
06. No Man's Land
08. You, My North
09. Awake Side
10. The Path Of Broken Homes
12. Black Moon
Lacrimas Profundere, a band for which I had so big expectations back in the late 90s is back with their already eleventh studio album. The band which released such great stuff as it was La Naissance D'Un Rêve (1997) and Memorandum (1999) condemned themselves when they completely changed the style and shifted far from their quite unique version of bleak and deeply melancholic doom/gothic/death metal of those days. They followed the trends in the turn of the century and what we got is six or seven pretty much boring albums, everything starting with Fall, I Will Follow, but even more with the next one Ave End in 2004. Lacrimas Profundere are since then playing some sort of melancholic gothic rock/metal and are nothing but just a pale shadow of what they once were. There was some glimmering of hope seen in the distance on the previous album, Antiadore, released in 2013, but it seems that they haven't learned a lot from it as Hope Is Here is just another disappointment. I still follow this band though, mostly because they are great musicians and you never know when they can surprise.
Welcome to boredom, should be the subtitle of this album. It's not musically that bad, but it's repetitive and so very mellow. The vocalist, Rob Vitacca, who joined the band in 2007, sounds just like some kind of a tired version of Ville Valo. Almost without any ups and downs, without passion, trying to be so very emotional, but in the end it fails right there, even though it sounds so very desperate and melancholic. The problem is after all not that much in performance, except for the vocals, but compositions are more or less bland. I might be a bit too much harsh towards this release but this is only because I expect much better things from bands like are Lacrimas Profundere. If this album would be released by some newcommers and not by the band of such calibre, than the test will be passed almost with excellence.
Hope Is Here is a concept album, you follow the story about a boy named Aramis drifting through the dark trees, alone, forsaken, outcast, because he’s not like other people. This is the first real conceptual album written by this Munich (Germany) based band. Musically the album offers twelve tracks of typical gothic rock/metal with big influences from so called Suomi metal scene. Let's talk now about good points. The rhythmic line is very strong, creating some kind of dense wailing sound, also those driving guitar melodies are captivating, but more or less the same through the whole album. There are of course tracks that withdraw from the rest, like it's the emotionally intense opener "The Worship Of Counting Down", the poignant and dramatic "Pageant", or of course the vocally strongest, a truly haunting, with great riff in the end, and so very melancholic semi-ballad "You, My North". Thanks to some deliberate keys and piano touches the atmosphere becomes here and there really stunning, magical and gloomy, like for example in one of the most intense tracks "Awake". But then again, Lacrimas Profundere should stay away from composing acoustic ballads, the closing track "Black Moon" is really a shallow one and completely unnecessary.
The album is saved a little bit by great production and mix which certainly adds some depth and creates kind of a multidimensional feeling, but to be truthful it's nothing you might have not heard before. Still, like said before, Hope Is Here is too repetitive, the band fails to create some tension and the songs don't offer any audible challenge to the listener. It has that necessary popy accessibility and if you'll listen to just one or two tracks it might be also an enjoyable listen. While I'm still hoping that Lacrimas Profundere will release in the future their ultimate masterpiece, I recommend this album to those who already liked their albums since Ave End on, but also those of you who want to hear here and there some deeply melancholic rock/metal than give it a try, it might be a thing for you.
Review written by: T.V.