Lacrimas Profundere is an anomaly. They started out as a classical-influenced death/doom outfit with typical low vocals and slow-fast-acoustic break-slow-fast-slow song arrangements with decent results, but nothing too special. They then turned to a more gothic doom metal approach, retaining both the classical influence and the simple song structures while adding female vocals. This only lasted two albums, and they soon made the alteration to straight up goth rock. It’s the middle period of their career that strikes the most interest. Though they slowly transitioned to simpler and simpler compositions, those two albums get caught in a certain light where the simplicity is a major attribute to how those albums come across. Burning: A Wish is the second of those two records, picking up where Memorandum left off.
The intro to the album begins its dragging drift, and Chris’ baritone vocal style harmonizes with muffled female vocals while the music becomes more and more distorted and the drums more and more powerful…and then it crashes, leaving only lamenting synths that lead into the next track. You can signify this whole album as one big dirge. It always preserves the almost suffocating melancholic cloud, an area where the production certainly plays a part. You should also notice that while Lacrimas do have a certain style, they are heavily influenced by Anathema (all eras), and I say heavily in the most accenting tone. Even so, the atmosphere is much their own.
I have to stress the atmosphere because that’s what makes this record the depression inducing powerhouse it is. Chris’ careless vocals sound like he’s only singing because the band is making him; otherwise he would be utterly silent. His lyrics aren’t amazing by any means, but they fit the music perfectly, especially the way he accents certain areas and utilizes speaking/whispering techniques. The synth effects are certainly a vital trait to the album’s sound as well, as they are what give it the unrelenting aura, halting only for classical piano breaks.
The album also appears to be split down the middle, where the first five tracks can be labeled part one, and the latter five part two. The first half seems to deal with, lyrically, the downfall of a strong relationship and the beginnings of the after-effects (nostalgia, brooding, silent speech, sporadic anger, etc.). The second half illustrates the slow, inevitable demise of the victim, and oddly enough, this is the half of the album where the female vocals are mostly used. Whether that’s on purpose or not is your own personal speculation. The best thing about this is that the vocal approach and music essentially follow this storyline, which makes the album that much more of…well, a true album. To have the music be able to tell the story is the true highlight.
Solicitude, Silence is the end of part one, and Re-Silence the end of part two, but both tracks tie together significantly, sharing the same musical parts to close off each story, though the punch is considerably more potent in Re-Silence. Burning: A Wish is undoubtly their magnum opus. The only flaw it has is Chris’ vocal style isn’t for everyone, but you have to find out for yourself though. Even I found it somewhat annoying at first, but it no longer has that effect on me. The only effect this album wants to have, however, is to push you down to draw every last positive thought and hold you there until it sucks you dry…it’s like a goddamn Dementor people. Either way, music this captivating isn’t something to pass up by any costs.