The 11th Hour

Lacrima Mortis

Written by: EW on 14/07/2012 19:24:27

When reviewing the debut album of Dutch doom/death metallers The 11th Hour 3 years ago I commented about the "The Burden of Grief" that while it had it's strong moments it was far too prosaic and safe in nature to warrant a grade higher than the 6 it got. Well, now on album two, "Lacrima Mortis" and the outcome is still very much the same despite there now being a full line-up behind the album's mournful proposition as it is hard to avoid the feeling each of the seven songs here are too similar to one another to justify the 11th Hour as a top band of the genre.

Still essentially the band of Ed Warby, his clean vocals are the defining feature in the mix; the slow, gothic tempos roll on morosely and dispassionately, emphasising the dejected and sorrowful nature of the lyrics to create a dark tapestry high on pessimism but low on individual identity. In "Rain on Me" the archetype sound of the band is best displayed, where slow heavy riffing sits nicely in the mix with string (via a synth) accompaniment creating the tragic atmosphere requisite of such a subject matter. "The Death of Love" begins with a pleasant example of Warby's clean vocal abilities intertwined with a piano-led riff before the deathly bark of his band co-mate Pim Blankenstein (replacing Rogga Johansson but essentially sounding exactly the same) offers some of the variation that is the band's selling point.

Offering no respite is "Tears of the Bereaved", which sounds very much like recent Candlemass whereby both bands are exponents of the heavy modern production style that in this writer's opinion is far from the ideal when attempting to convey darkness and misery in the quantity 11th Hour wish to do so, and "Reunion Illusion" which opens with the strongest riff from the album, one of true doom merit and which recalls Isole and their modern take on the genre. Thus despite their positive moments, unfortunately "Lacrima Mortis" falls back too quickly into the same vocal and riffing patterns that have been heard before, solid but unmoving as they struggle to hold a charge for greatness. On a par with "The Burden of Grief", "Lacrima Mortis" offers a solid ride to fans of the doom/death genre but more memorable hooks and song structures and needed to really get this doomhead caught on.


Download: Reunion Illusion, Rain on Me
For The Fans Of: Candlemass, (old) Anathema, Isole
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 27.01.2012
Napalm Records

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