August 18, 2016 Lacrimas Profundere – Hope Is Here (Album Review)
It has been almost two and a half decades since the Gothic Rockers Lacrimas Profundere emerged from Germany. Initially begun as a Doom Metal band, Lacrimas Profundere has seen progression over the course of their career with the consistent release of new music. They did not even skip a beat after original Vocalist Christopher Schmid stepped down in 2008, ushering in new Vocalist Rob Vitacca. Through it all, Lacrimas Profundere has established themselves as a cornerstone in the melancholic Rock music scene. In fact, chart entries and touring all over the globe has made the Bavarians one of the most continuous German exports in the dark genre over the last 23 years.
At last, assuring they are following the path of their most mature output, 2013’s Antiadore, Lacrimas Profundere are now ready to turn over a new leaf with their latest effort, Hope Is Here. Forging a new partnership with SPV parent label Oblivion, this is the band’s first studio album now a part of Napalm Records since 1997’s La naissance d’un rêve. Proving change is imminent, and part of life, Lacrimas Profundere also ventures into their first concept album with Hope Is Here. The story is about the expulsed boy Aramis, who ekes out a living in a dark forest.
So far, so good, but was Hope Is Here worth the waiting after the previous, very strong Antiadore? Let the listener decide as the old Lacrimas nucleus consisting of founding Guitarist/Bassist/Keyboardist Oliver Nikolas Schmidt, Vocalist Rob Vitacca and Guitarist/Bassist/Keyboardist Tony Berger are completed permanently by the brothers Christoph and Clemens Schepperle, who are responsible for the new rhythm axis on drums and bass engage. In fact, their Schepperle brother’s interjection appears to have provided a new influence on the band’s sound, which is presented on Hope Is Here. Instead of working out the songs in their own four walls, the five-piece was able to let the material mature in a three month lasting pre-production in The Engine Studios. This was a move that obviously worked well for the very becoming compositions.
In 2016, Lacrimas Profundere sound different, and the simple stamp Gothic Metal would be a pure understatement. Hope Is Here is a magnum opus of melancholic Rock music with every single played note and fiber. To start, the opening track, “The Worship Of Counting Down,” is just epic and leads the listener into the depth of the story’s dark forest with its countless ups and downs, aspects which characterize this album perfectly. The oppressive mood bespeaks that Lacrimas Profundere excelled oneself in a way which was not expectable. Temporary, the track reminds in its silent and cheerless moments on the gravity of a monument like Iron Maidens “Rime Of The Ancient Mariner.“ In addition, the clear production is such an extend, powerful and melts with the doleful vocals of Vitacca, while the rhythm section appears almost Progressive.
While still in line with the huge hook-lines of track one, the journey goes on with the more rocking “My Halo Ground.” Beside all melancholy, the most conspicuous fact is that the guitars appear harder and much more accented than in the past, especially on the extremely heavy “A Million Miles.” This is all amidst the album’s title track, “Hope Is Here;” one which is filled with despair, beauty, and intensity. Including a music video to help illustrate the story, the song also crosses genres, bordering Hard Rock with Acoustic Rock accents, all while maintaining the signature feel of Lacrimas Profundere as Vitacca raises his voice toward the big chorus. Moving forward, another example of the impact of the Schepperle brothers comes with extraordinary drumming of Christoph throughout, especially on the track “Aramis,“ which displays the band in an entirely new light.
On Hope Is Here, all varieties of melancholic Rock music are demonstrated. This is sprinkled throughout including “No Man’s Land,” which comes nearest to older Lacrimas hits. In contrast, “Pageant” sounds extremely easygoing with a light Blues note, underlining the band’s new won diversity. Later on, “You, My North” is calm, sounds typical, but somehow on a new level the band has hauled up themselves. Other bold moments include “Awake” with hardly discernible electronic support in the verses and “Timbre,” which convinces with their big melodies to help carry the conceptional story full-atmosphere towards the end with the acoustic ballad “Black Moon.”
With Hope Is Here, Lacrimas Profundere set the world on fire and put the final nail in the coffin to raise a claim on the blackly Rock throne after creating this piece of timeless Melancholic Rock music. Even the aesthetic album cover artwork brings the overall picture down to a round figure of compelling art. Melancholic Rock fans who do not check out this milestone have to be banned to this dark forest. That being said, yes, the wait for Hope Is Here was well worth it. CrypticRock gives this album 5 out 5 stars.