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Lacrimas Profundere in their early years were playing a more underground metal style. Gothic metal and Death/Doom metal were the genres that they played during their early albums, changing later to a genre that brought them fame, Gothic rock.
I don’t want to make comparisons between H.I.M. and Lacrimas Profundere but, if I were to, I would say that I dun like H.I.M. as much as I enjoyed Lacrimas Profundere. Lacrimas Profundere has that little something that H.I.M. does not have, they manage to convey their feelings through the story portrayed in the songs. They name their genre “rock ‘n sad” mainly because the main themes they use for their songs are sorrow, love, sadness, melancholy, ups and downs of couple life, betrayal, everything that enters within the meaning of the word sad, characterizes the style of Lacrimas Profundere.
By far, the masterminds behind this extraordinary band are the Schmid brothers, Oliver and Christopher. However, after the release of their 7th studio album Filthy Notes for Frozen Hearts, Christopher left the band dew to stage-induced stress, however, he continued to be the lyricist for the band. Between 2005 and 2007, Oliver replaced all of the former band members coming up with a completely new line-up, having Rob Vitacca as the front man.
Rob Vitacca’s style of singing is slightly different but not far from what Christopher had. Songs for the Last View reminds us of the old Sisters of Mercy albums when they were at the peak of their glory. With melancholic sounds and atmospheric influences, this album proved to be worth listening at least and quite enjoyable.
The album begins with the pulse of a heartbeat and ends the same way. The concept of this album is based on the life of a rockstar. To be more specific, it resembles the moment when all your life become like a movie, when you are giving your last breath. We all know from other people that when you are having your last moments of being alive, all the things you’ve done in your life will come to your mind. I described it as a fast movie. However, if you want to know the end of it, don’t worry, the protagonist will be revived during the last track of the album “While“.
It’s kind of unusual for me to start a review with the last song of the album, but I think I had to. It begins with an intro called The Last View which sets the stage for the next song called A Pearl which also features a video. We rarely hear female voices in LP’s songs but fortunately, this album features a female voice in the 3rd track The Shadow I once Kissed.
All of their songs represent a passage or a chapter of the story. The 4th track, Veins features an amazing guitar solo while the 5th song We Shouldn’t Be Here has a more electronic influence which can be heard at the beginning of the song. But only at the beginning because after that it is shattered with explosive guitar and drum solos which in my opinion, makes it one of the best songs this album has.
The 6th track And God’s Ocean is in my opinion, the best track from this album and maybe, the best track that they could come up in all of their works. Unlike the other songs, this one is a ballad and it also features a video. This song is superbly creating a melancholic atmosphere combined with the anger which can be felt throughout the lyrics. It’s like the band spent their entire career just to compose this one song, it sums up the efforts of this band made throughout the years and marks the climax of not only this album, but of their entire career.
Suicide Sun the 7th track of the album talks about compromises and sacrifices that a couple can encounter in life while Dear Amy the 8th track is like a cruel respond to the one that could not comprehend the efforts and feelings conveyed through the 7th track of the album. A Dead Man, the 9th track of this album depicts the condition of a man that had his love denied. This is the second ballad from this album and it features mainly vocals and keyboards. Sacrificial Lamb and Lullaby for a Weeping Girl follows the same pattern that the other songs depicted while being a lot more heavier in style. While, the last track represents the synthesis of this album combining distorted guitar riffs with melancholic piano solos and Wurm‘s drum beats and also Rob’s clean vocals.
In conclusion, Songs For the Last View like any other album has pluses and minuses. Even though the death/doom or gothic metal style that they played a long time ago is long gone, I am satisfied the way Lacrimas Profundere is right now. I dislike the fact that growls are missing in this album which makes the clean vocals feel monotone from time to time. Some songs are way too similar with each other but it is compensated with splendid works such as A Pearl, We Shouldn’t Be Here, And God’s Ocean or Sacrificial Lamb.
It is not a masterpiece of this genre without a doubt, but rather an album that appeals to ears and hearts of all sorts. It is not an extreme bands nor an extreme genre so it’s unlikely that this album will not make it outside of its own borders. What I like about it is that the spirit of Lacrimas Profundere is present throughout this album, despite the fact that they changed style and members many times. One thing I hate about is the kind of guys that complain about the current state of the band and compare it with their earlier works. An album in my opinion should not be compared with others but should be judged by its current state otherwise, minuses or pluses can be found easily while forgetting that in essence this is the same LP that we have known. Lets not forget, music is an art, not a game of tastes or a duel between past and present.
There will always be an evolutionary trend for many bands towards experimentation and change, something inevitable and at the same time necessary. Just consider the number of all those bands that began searching their identity performing inside the borders of a certain genre obtaining a distinct sound and style with success, when finally finding themselves trying to master the musical secrets of another, almost completely different area than that of their reputation. To name a few, “Anathema”, “Lake Of Tears”, “Tiamat”, “The Gathering” “Ulver” and so many more.
Every case has its own special characteristics; however the result in most of those cases left an irreplaceable gap in the “abandoned” genre, but on the contrary and in many occasions it gave us “diamonds”. Being one of the above cases, Lacrimas Profundere have long ago left their atmospheric doom/death metal roots to an almost pure gothic approach with great success, I must admit.
The first approaches to a new sound were obvious from “Burning: a wish”, and things became clearer in “Fall, I Will Follow” albums that we could not expect another “La Naissance d’Un Reve”-the band’s greatest moment according to my perception- in the future. The German band’s turning point “Ave End” was a classic goth/metal attempt that showed their musical directions from then on. After that it was “Filthy Notes For Frozen Hearts” more or less at the same quality level with the same sound and now “Songs For the Last View” which is the band’s eighth album, following the same fields as their previous two attempts.
Above all it should be considered as a very nice album, with all those gothic elements that satisfy the fans of the genre. However, there are some objections this time… First of all the band has a new singer Rob Vitacca replacing the founding member since 1993 Christopher Schmid, who left the band in 2007. The way Rob performs is totally different, reaching a more “Sister Of Mercy” style of singing than anything else. Without being bad, I preferred Christopher’s way of singing, but this is highly subjective…
Secondly the production of the album regarding the sound didn’t satisfy me, especially the outcome that has to do with Rob’s vocals. In many cases it is difficult to understand what he is trying to say. Apart from the above objections I have to congratulate the artist for the once again beautiful artwork
As long as Oliver Nikolas Schmid stands behind Lacrimas Profundere, there is no fear about the quality of the compositions. There are many interesting tracks here and I could choose “And God’s Ocean” as a favourite moment. Concluding I am positive that this album is going to climb to the German charts in good position and will also be enjoyed by the majority of the gothic metal fans. However being a fan of the band from their early days, I have a sense that this album could and had to be better…
Ploughing on for fifteen years now, Lacrimas Profundere's tireless work ethic has served them well, with each successive release gradually gaining the band greater recognition. Album number eight, "Songs for the Last View" sees them continue this trend, with no signs of tiring just yet.
Unfortunately, this growing success has produced a casualty in the form of vocalist Christopher Schmid, who co-founded the band with brother Oliver. In what has already been an unsettled couple of years in terms of the band's line-up, Schmid left the band last year citing "....prolonged stress from touring". However, his replacement, Rob Vitacca does an admirable job. Although similar in style to those of his predecessor, Vitacca's vocals are slightly deeper, often sounding very much like The Sisters of Mercy's Andrew Eldritch.
Stylistically, "Songs for the Last View" continues the logical progression that has seen the band gradually leave behind their doom influenced roots and move further into the realms of gothic rock. The increasingly prevalent Fields of the Nephilim and Sisters of Mercy influences, coupled with Vitacca's vocals and the female backing vocals, mean that some of the tracks here wouldn't sound out of place on The Sister's "Floodland" album. I wouldn’t go as far as to agree with the band's own bizarre description of "....the gothic equivalent to "Appetite for Destruction" ", but this album does feature a greater number of up-tempo, though not necessarily up-beat, numbers.
Although this is tempered slightly by the inclusion of some slower and more sullen tracks which are reminiscent of their older days, the overall feel is that this album is the result of Lacrimas Profundere stepping towards more commercial territory. However, that is only comparatively speaking and not an accusation of selling out - there is no danger of them becoming the next H.I.M. - there is merely a greater emphasis on riffs and catchy melodies. The dark heart of Lacrimas Profundere is still intact, with all the sombre moodiness and melancholic introspection that you would expect from these stalwarts of the genre, woven around the concept of a dying man viewing scenes from his life as they flash before him.
Dark and reflective, but with the ability to rock out at the same time, "Songs for the Last View" is another commendable effort from these sultans of sadness.
Lacrimas Profundere is a German band that started off playing doom death in the mid 90s and along the way released one classic and often overlooked album in Memorandum. That album was drenched with the doomy romanticism of prime Anathema and is to this day just a terrific doom metal album. After Memorandum came one more album that could be called doom metal before the band dropped the doom, dropped the metal and started playing some sort of weak goth-rock with an extra helping of Mozzarella.
Come 2008 and the band released its eighth studio album, Songs for the Last View. The template for the music is the same. This is all mostly tepid goth-rock that owes more to the likes of HIM and Sisters of Mercy than it does to any sort of metal band. The songs are all simple HIM like sing-a-longs with perhaps a dash of latter day Paradise Lost’s keyboard tinkling and some sub- Depeche Mode type atmospherics. The problem with bands like this is, they seem so safe in the ascribed parameters that there is simply no venturing out. The music is stereotyped and the band is happy to play the same song over and over again. In fact when a rare guitar solo pops up in Suicide Sun it feels like the band is doing something truly great when it is actually a pretty crappy solo. Dear Amy sounds like Paradise Lost circa Symbol of Life mixed in with some modern radio rock and is dreadful while A Dead Man with its keyboard, vocal harmonies and atmospheric string section sounds like it was written hoping for an endorsement from Zippo lighters. I don’t have any problems with ballads but this is just Mozzarella overload.
There isn’t a single song here that’s any good. It’s all HIM and later PL mixed in with some parts that are just wannabe Depeche Mode but have none of the power and passion of that band. Twelve songs in the album and not a single one remains in my head. This is boring, dull music for people with short attention spans.
This is the kind of music that should appeal to pimply faced Goth kids everywhere and if your favourite band is HIM then I think Song for the Last View will be right up your alley. However, if you’d like to experience this whole goth-rock/ metal thing done correctly then I’d suggest you go dig out the UK’s 13 Candles and their terrific Angels of Mourning Silence from 1997 and leave this saccharine sweet outing alone.
Originally written for http://www.kvltsite.com