Release Date: January 27, 2012
Let me get straight to the point, The 11th Hour’s latest album Lacrima Mortis is probably the best Doom Metal record I have come across from last few years. What make this death/doom laden journey so exciting are the creativity fused by instrumentalist Ed Warby (Hail of Bullets, Gorefest) and his team. I have come across many doom metal bands which somehow satisfy me with their respective records but after listening to Lacrima Mortis, you just can’t ignore the fact that this is a masterpiece by Ed Warby. With new member Pim Blankenstein on vocals, Dutchman Ed Warby’s idea is pretty simple yet effective. All the tracks are so brilliantly composed they surely intoxicate you with pain, depression and darkness.
“We All Die Along” sets the tone for the album. There is a Gothic vibe around the keyboard intro and added to it are the simple yet effective riffs which sound undeniably phenomenal. The best part of the song is the way vocals have been performed on the lines of keyboards and riffs by Blankenstein. The variation in vocals are the highlight of this track. Indeed a perfect intro to a perfect album.
“Rain on Me”, on the other side, is a straightforward bone crushing death metal assault. The way this track is composed by the band still justifies that The 11th Hour remain true to their 90’s Dutch death metal roots.
“The Death of Life” is sheer brilliance. Keyboards take full control over this track with slow passages. We are just three tracks into the album and the amount of variation by the band is wonderful.
“Tears of the Bereaved” is another beautiful piece from the album. It’s depression to the core. The emotions, the feel, are beyond one’s imagination. It’s surely going to remind you a mournful moment in your life. This is the best track from the album when it comes to concept, level of depth they have crossed, and more importantly the structure, which is awesome.
If we consider the conceptual side of the album and the way arrangements and structure are built, then “Reunion Illusion” is the answer. Lyrically it’s another plus point of this album and what adds to this wonderful process are the vocals which are performed elegantly. The eclectic beauty of his voice is soothing. The melodic verses just dig a hole deep in your heart.
The emotional approach on “Nothing but Pain” is phenomenal. The way violin’s and keyboards are fused with top notch production is jaw breaking. This bone crushing death metal insanity is clearly experienced. You will witness growls, gutturals by Pim, and clean voice by Warby. There is only word to define this track, ‘EPIC’.
Finally we reach the last track of the record and considering the musical spectrum of the earlier tracks, I was looking forward for it. “Bury Me” is full of melodic harmonies. It’s sheer brilliance again when it comes to melancholic verses. This track is the perfect closer.
The band’s first record, Burden of Grief was an amazing debut, but Lacrima Mortis takes Warby and company to another level. The 11th Hour breaks all the barriers with melancholic atmosphere. The songwriting is excellent and the best to date by the band. It’s Ed Warby who has given his everything in this record with the talent he possesses. Considering other doom metal bands, Ed Warby is not just an average musician but his skills and confidence are something which are a notch above other top mainstream doom bands of this world. The interesting thing about Lacrima Mortis is the way The 11th Hour superbly combined the heavy death riffs with the doom laden twist. It’s not your typical doom metal sound which is full of slow carnage, but it’s a crazy journey sure to take you by surprise. If ever asked, which is the best experimental Doom laden record I have ever witnessed. My answer is surely going to be LACRIMA MORTIS.
Raise your horn’s, its the Evil 11th Hour \m/