Published on Monday, 28 September 2015 00:08
Album title: Carpe Noctum
Release date: 28 August 2015
Label: Pure Steel Publishing
01. Precipice Of Bliss
02. False God
03. Pinnacle Of Faith
04. Black Legend
05. My Shadow (A Revelation)
06. Face Of Horror
07. Carpe Noctum
08. In A Reverie (feat. Thomas Vikström)
Doom metal with female lead vocalists is nothing unusual and rare this days, many bands have fallen under this trend, and of course most of them don't forget to add in their music harsh male vocals. The same story is with Greeks Lachrymose, a new band formed by experienced members like are guitarist/vocalist Blackmass and drummer Mancer, both known from black/death metal act Rotting Flesh. They are joined by vocalist Hel and bassist Kerk. As it's the bands name pretty unoriginal, so it's with music. I won't deny that I was expecting some great things from this union of talented musicians, but what we got on their debut is a pretty mellow and generic doom metal. The band has a lot of potential, but they simply lack the ability to create something stunning that could be interesting enough to catch the attention of those who seek for new enthusing things inside the genre.
Use of operatic female vocals could be a good thing, but it really doesn't fit into the whole spectrum of the instrumental side of Lachrymose. Even though Hel's voice is powerful, she's a talented singer, but in here it sounds simply annoying on most of the songs, her singing parts are too linear, almost without ups and downs. Harsh male vocals are as well nothing that could make the sound a bit more interesting, neither makes it dynamic, it seems that are there just to add a bit of heaviness into the sound. Almost all of the tracks follow the same receipt, slow to mid paced guitar riffing, with occasional atmospheric insertions and melodies that vanish too soon into nothingness. The rhytmic line is very mellow, with occasional drum patterns that are above average, but all in all there's simply nothing you haven't heard before.
Lachrymose is in a way kind of a band that could be best compared to the mighty Candlemass, My Dying Bride and The Prophecy who were toying around with Nightwish, for what concerns female vocals, but don't reach even close to the heights of none of this bands. The only moment where I was enjoying it is the almost epic "My Shadow (A Revelation)", where the band reaches kind of a harmony and enthuses with slowly building up composition and short use of female spoken words is better than every other vocal approach in here. The rest of the tracks seems just like being without head and tail. The problem is also that the overall sound is in a way too shallow and I believe that use of some gloomy atmospheric synths could make the difference and the textures might become a bit richer. Neither does the guest appearance of Thomas Vikström (known better as being once a singer in Candlemass and recently in Therion), on a bit more dynamic and upbeat "In A Reverie", save the thing, Thomas's and Hel's vocal duet simply doesn't work out. So, unfortunately the best thing on this album, beside before mentioned "My Shadow (A Revelation)", remains the dark atmospheric intro "Precipice Of Bliss" and the outro "Fade".
Carpe Noctum has also a strange kind of a production and final mix, I don't know if the band wanted to make the sound more vintage smelling or what, but unfortunatelly lead vocals are too much fronted, the guitar power is almost lost somewhere in the mix, the same is with bass and drums. In the end the listener gets a feeling that everything was done in a hurry, without proper focus on things, without any concept, without any passion. Carpe Noctum is except for some tiny bright moments a very generic and bland doom metal album, it sounds almost like a demo recording of a band that just started to rehearse together without any special ideas how to be original, and also the most devoted fans of doom and female fronted metal won't find almost anything that will gain their attention. This is an album that can be easily missed in your collection.
Review written by: T.V.