Company: Napalm Records Release: 2008 Genre: Gothic Reviewer: Raising Iron
Wash, rinse, and repeat formula
Lacrimas Profundere have taken a beating from metal fans in recent years; leaving the death infused, gothic romanticism of earlier releases such as the stellar Memorandum for much lighter, more traditional rock constructs rooted in all things gothic/depressive. Funny, Katatonia have made this similar move years ago and yet they seem to remain for the most part above the fray; but no matter, Lacrimas Profundere have chosen their poison-filled chalice and theyíre imbibing with nary a care.
The graphics on the cover of this latest release, Songs for the Last View, convincingly convey the attitude within, quite similar to their last release from 2006, Filthy Notes for Frozen Hearts (one of the best titles of the genre in a long time!); dour, depressive, filled with despair and melancholy. Rob Vitacca joins the band for this effort as the new vocalist, replacing longtime veteran Christopher Schmid, and he sounds quite similar to Mr. Schmid, assuring fans who are sticking with the band that the back catalog will be represented fairly come time to perform live. Female vox back up the new crooner from time to time, ala what the genre fancies.
There really isnít anything remotely heavy here per se; yes, the guitars are plenty distorted, but mixed thinly, throbbing along as the vocal melodies carry the workload; this genre being all about atmosphere and dark representations vs. chaotic riffing or blistering speeds. Honestly, this release is somewhat perplexing, as personally I love the genre and enjoy almost anything that dwells in it, but the foreboding sense of a paint-by-numbers approach has me feeling the guys are just going through the motions. Maybe keeping it simple the first time out for the new singer? Nah, this impression has been skulking about for the last couple of releases now, and Iím thoroughly convinced the band have now settled, content with the wash, rinse, and repeat formula they now employ.
The limited edition contains a whopping four bonus tracks upon the twelve proper, so if gothic hard rock sometimes cozying up to metal is something you enjoy, thisíll be worth your while.
Of note: setting bias aside, I can logically only give it a 3/5, but on a personal level drawn out of my adoration for the style, Iíd go 3.5 or possibly even 4, take that for what itís worth.
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