Eric Schackne

REVIEW: Lacrimosa – ‘Revolution’

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I remember Sehnsucht by Rammstein being the first album my liberal parents disapproved of.   They kind of heard this gothic German metal and thought it was devil-worshipping music.   If only I had Lacrimosa’s new album Revolution back then, I could have eased them into it a little more.  The product of this male/female, German/Finnish duo is a dynamic blend of intense industrial and gothic elements matched very evenly with gorgeous piano melodies and orchestral masterpieces.  Revolution is a journey, and it might get loud – and I’m okay with that.

Theatrically, “Irgendein Arsch Ist Immer Unterwe” kicks off this record with a baroque piano melody leading the way.  There’s a march-like feel as the chorus and band get up and join in the fun.  “As the World Stood Still For a Day” proceeds with dark drums pulsating in an incessant tribal beat.  Female member, Anne Nurmi lends a beautiful Gregorian-esque melody and the production gives her an elegant and ghostly air.  So far Lacrimosa is putting up some commercial song structures while maintaining their moody essence….and hello bass guitar.  “Verloren” is instantly a mover, delivered by way of a string-slapping bass intro.  This track has maybe the darkest tone I’ve ever heard.  Very…metal.  The instrumentals are epic and will no doubt keep you bouncing.

Oh my.  What is…what is happening?  This is amazing.  “This Is the Night” kicks off with an a capella chant by hoarse-voiced, male-member Tilo Wolff.  Another growl astonishingly finds a way to harmonize with the current vocal line, and this sounds like something out of a whimsically morose Tim Burton flick.  This gloomy circus backs up one of the few English songs on Revolution.  This is my favorite track so far.

A deep breath comes with the aptly named, “Interlude,” which shows off the group’s stellar composition specifically on the piano.  This leads seamlessly into a solid album track, “Feuerzug.”  The keyboard work in this tune is intense, with a healthy serving of killer organs riffs and piano parts.

“Refugium” rings a solemn note, as a piano trucks along to what feels like a gypsy ballad.  I don’t understand a word he is saying on account of the “speaking in German” thing, but this music is very moving.  This is another album favorite, as I’ve never heard another song like it in my life.

Just a few more spots left on our journey(remember I started that journey metaphor earlier?), and “Weil Du Hilfe Brauchst” feels like a perfect cinematic beginning of the end.  Fat and razor sharp guitar lines dig deep into an epic chorus.  While the drums aren’t the most technical aspect to Lacrimosa’s mojo, they are steady and complimentary to each song in it’s own right.

It’s either the trailer for Braveheart or the intro to “Rote Sinfonie.”  This Trans Siberian Orchestra-esque beauty gets maimed by Wolff’s vocal grit and the result is beautiful and genuine.  This is one of the most expansive tracks on the record, and the transition from part to part is creative and disparate within their ever-widening sound.  “Rote Sinfonie” is one of my favorites for its juxtaposition of intense loud moments with quiet sweet moments.

Stabbing low strings lazily fade out for the eerie opening to the final(title) track, and then we’re here; it’s “Revolution” time.  This is as curious as the opening, though this exit is artful and gothic.  This song sounds like a Manson b-side, and it’s pretty palatable for how dark it is.  For as quiet of a beginning this cd had, this closing sequence is loud and climactic.  Whew.

That was a blast, and I’ll listen to Revolution again for sure.  It’s definitely on the outskirts of what I would typically listen to, but getting into the darkwave mode allowed me to see that the European combo of Wolff and Nurmi has created a gorgeous record.  Lacrimosa is a talented bursche and maedchen(that’s German for “guy and girl”) – the more you know.  Thanks for reading.

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