Lacrimosa: Revolution

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Lacrimosa: Revolution
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Lacrimosa: Revolution
Gothic Metal
End of the Light Records
October 16th, 2012
Release length: 54:23
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Lacrimosa has gone through quite a lot through the years. Originally, the German group started out as a mixture of Goth Rock and Darkwave, but eventually shifted towards an edgier Symphonic Gothic Metal sound on later albums. This is the base style for the group’s eleventh full-length studio recording, Revolution, which is being handled by End of the Light Records. But, will the niche fanbase find their anticipation met with a strong performance, or will this album just end up as a cliffnote in the band’s discography?

Much like the group’s previous albums, this one sounds hollow sometimes, but it’s meant in a thematic manner. The instruments sound crisp enough, but the isolation in the atmosphere is evident in many cases, though it varies greatly from one approach to the next. The guitars can carry a nice heaviness to them when focusing on the Metal aspect, a bit blunt with a mid-range distortion that isn’t too impressive, but gets the job done well enough. Sadly, the bass isn’t too strong in the mix, but during richer moments you can easily pick up on the rhythm it helps to incorporate. The bass kicks present more of a deeper presence to the music thanks to the slight click and lower tone, while the snares have similar range to just a bit higher against cymbals that aren’t too impressive, but fill the music well with a sharp sound. The keyboards are at just the right level, often giving a nice symphonic touch to the music where needed, while the vocals are a little restrained to give it a bit of an emotional push through harmonized, yet restrained roughness that is suiting to the olden days of the carnival, but not always working alongside the music.

There’s a bit of a divide in the material on Revolution. The first part is mostly their newer Symphonic Gothic Metal approach without a strong focus on their given theme, and it varies in quality. The album kicks off with “Irgendein Arsch ist Immer Unterwegs,” which carries the aforementioned theme well enough, especially in the keyboards. While the empty and isolated atmosphere isn’t here, or on the others with a similar sound, the vocals give it a nice emotional stance that caps in the chorus when the music gives way to the keyboards presenting a beautiful performance that gradually becomes a glorious and epic performance, though the vocals show a hint of the Darkwave roots that slightly clash towards the end. “Verloren” really sticks out as a much stronger offering. The catchier music has an infectious rhythm with a bit of an eccentic trait to the keyboards that give the carnival theme a modern electronic trait that is easy to get into, as well as bob your head along with. The vocals are far better suiting here as well, bringing a little more energy to the mix, and incorporating some additional edge that is desperately needed. But, these doesn’t compare to “As the World Stood Still for a Day.” The track carries a heavier presence, and is a little more upbeat. The female vocals are beautiful, utilizing some layering and echoing that really makes the commanding music a little more addicting. The drums stand out as well to make the atmosphere a bit stronger amid the largely melodic riffs, especially in the chorus.

“This is the Night” is where things do change up a bit. Lacrimosa start to divert from the heavier Metal presence, and focus more on the carnival theme, which is just fine. The only fault with this track is when the vocals in no way match the beat of the song to the point where it just becomes obnoxious. However, this is towards the end, and if you can cope with that, you also get some of the most vibrant music to capture the early carnival era this release has to offer. There’s also some additional range to the male vocals that give it a truly depressing environment, but nothing that can compare to “Refugium.” The rougher vocals take a little to get into on this one, but the keyboard driven song sounds like their interpretation of an operatic performance that really takes an isolated stance that tugs at the heart strings enough to make tears well up inside, if not let one roll down your face by the very end. These two stick out the most, though there’s no denying the rest of the album takes the slower, passionate approach to nice heights, even if it isn’t always as captivating to listen to.

That’s exactly what happens to “Rote Sinfonie,” the longest offering of the recording that starts and ends well, but eventually heads into an extended instrumental piece. While not bad, it becomes a bit repetitive, and at one point the music begins to sound horribly overmodulated with static tearing through the speakers as if the bass had just blown out of them. In fact, I had to take a moment and check to make sure this didn’t happen. Thankfully, this wasn’t the case. After it returns to normal, there’s still a good way to go, and you’ll just end up fading in and out of it as time goes on. Even after the song concludes, the music still continues to fade out with one symphonic note refusing to let it end until engulfed in silence. Had this been the final song, it would have fit the album a little better in placement. Instead, you have a more Darkwave offering with the title track, “Revolution,” which doesn’t sound anything like the previous nine songs. While the heavy guitar riffs sound great, and the atmosphere is pretty rich, it just seems a little tacked on at the very end. That being said, if you made it this far and are happy with what you’ve heard, you’ll still welcome this track and appreciate the additional edge it brings with it.

Revolution by Lacrimosa brings a decent amount of variety to the mix, all the while maintaining their general carnival theme. Anyone who enjoys this sort of Gothic Rock or Metal will find plenty of great songs to be moved by, and many others that are just rather good. Fans of Lacrimosa definitely won’t be let down, and even those who have been on the edge with them, having maybe one or two gripes major enough to keep you from embracing their music, may very well find themselves liking this recording more than some of their previous ones. If you get the chance to at least sample it, you definitely should, as there are plenty of songs on Revolution that deserve to be heard.

01. Irgendein Arsch ist immer unterwegs – 5:03
02. As the World Stood Still for a Day – 3:37
03. Verloren – 7:31
04. This is the Night – 5:26
05. Interlude – 0:45
06. Feuerzug – 4:43
07. Refugium – 4:44
08. Weil Du Hilfe Brauchst – 6:05
09. Rote Sinfonie – 11:06
10. Revolution – 5:23
Overall Score: 8/10
Lacrimosa (band)
Lacrimosa
Digital review copy of this release provided by End of the Light Records via Freeman Promotions.