Review Summary: A modern Gothic master piece. Classical elements blended with traditional instruments to perfection.
Now, although I have only had this album for two days, this album has left quite a mark upon my ears with this inspired piece of music. I don’t know much about the band or what they have produced in the past. You see, I was at the local F.Y.E and found this album for 8 bucks. It had been labeled hvy mtl, so I was hooked. I had never heard of them but decided to jump on to this after passing this up many times.
I was somewhat misinformed when purchasing this album. I was expecting this to be a hard rocking, metal album. Instead, I found no blast beats, no double bass, and no harsh vocals. Instead, I found an epic piece of music that layers elements of Classic into modern gothic culture, with traces of metal to be found here and there. The beauty of this album could be passed off to some dramatic foreign film and be used as a score.
Lacrimosa had formed in Germany around the 1990's. The German influence can be felt as the vocal work is primarily written and sung in their native language courtesy of Tilo. Tilo Wolf has been the master mind behind this group since the early days, until Anne Nurmi had joined the band in 1994. This album blends many styles of music, ranging from Classical, Heavy Metal, and the wide usage of Orchestra and symphonic elements into a mixed bag of various influence. Now, I know there are quite a few bands capable of pulling these ideas into music. Can this band pull off what they strive to create? The answer is yes. As I said before, Lacrimosa is a band filled with a wide variety of instrumentation. Ranging from an all out orchestra to flutes, piano, violins, and other classical instruments that sets the emotion on a high scale of excellence. Lacrimosa excels at creating stirring music. The opener, "Kyrie - (Overture)" is a 13 minute instrumental that gives the listener a view of what to expect. The length of this album comes in at a lengthy 8 tracks to 70 minutes. Not once does this album bore the listener. Tilo and Anne captivate the listener with making no compromises in their music. They go over the top creating bombarding sounds capes with their music. Everything is loud, epic, beautiful and to the point, haunting.
Vocal work, while being present, does not out do the music for top spot. There are more instrumental sections than their is singing for better or worse. In this case, these two areas are given separate treatment, leaving a greater impact towards the music. There are female and male vocals that are present on this disk. Tilo has a strong voice, relying on the high notes and the lower pitched singing style that has a baritone quality to it. Anne has an angelic voice she uses from occasionally to full extent as demonstrated on the track “Apart” which is sung in English. This song has a slower pace and is very soothing thanks to a sterling vocal performance from Anne along with the music providing the rhythm. An edge that greatly benefits this disk is that the vocals are sung in the German language for the most part. This adds a European feel to the music, very smooth and calming that adds unique qualities that are different from what I’m used to hearing. Outside the non traditional instruments, there is some instrumental play from the basic instruments. There was no drummer for this record so the drums were programmed into the mix. Still effective though, providing a rocking beat at a steady pace throughout. The guitar work occasionally chugs away, providing a smooth rhythm behind the classical nature of the music. Solos can be found scattered throughout. Although few in number, the restraint of over doing this element benefit’s the band and the music. When heard, they leave a numbing effect upon the listener, especially during the 23 minute epic closer “Die Schreie Sind Verstummt”. A fitting end for such a well executed album.
The production was mastered to full extent on this album. Clear and pristine, everything can be heard together. The orchestra is booming, the piano is played to a grand scale, and the vocals are in key and loud enough in the mix to enjoy whether or not you understand a word of German. This is an album that people that love music in general should definitely check out. Regardless of what kind of mixed genres you enjoy, you can count on this album of leaving a mark on you. A very calming album filled with musical joy is what you will find here. An album I would have never listened to if I never decided to pick this up. An album worthy of adding to your music collections.
Tilo Wolff (vocals)
Anne Nurmi (keyboards, vocals)
- Vocals are unique and highly interesting.
- Instrumental Sections leave quite an impression.
- Solos are limited but leave a greater impact.
- Length might turn some off