LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE continues to shuffle down the path of Goth Rock on their latest album, “The Grandiose Nowhere.” At the dawn of the new millennium, LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE were a noticeably different type of beast, churning out gloomy but critically-acclaimed Doom Metal albums in the vein of ANATHEMA. Nowadays, however, their sound is much closer to that of Finnish Goth Rockers HIM The change in style was accompanied by an increase in monotony and a subsequent nosedive in review scores at "The Metal Observer".
LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE’s problem, as noted by other reviewers, is that, unlike H.I.M., they seem to encounter difficulty in creating “hooks.” It’s easy to describe “The Grandiose Nowhere” as a whole; it’s a dark, moody, depressing album with a heaviness somewhere between Goth Rock and Goth Metal. It’s got the requisite keyboards, low-ranged vocals, and plain-Jane guitars that are common to nearly every Goth band on the planet. Trying to identify individual songs is much more difficult. From “Be Mine In Tears” to “Dead Heart Serenade,” nearly every song is a rehash of the same formula, with brooding verses leading to unmemorable choruses. Taken as a whole, the album certainly has a semblance of a working “sound,” but trying to identify its constituent parts often results nothing more than a vague “Bleak Song #3.”
The one standout track on the album is “No Matter Where You Shoot Me Down,” a song that corrects nearly everything that’s wrong with the band’s other tracks. The vocals are more Alternative Rock than Goth Rock, instantly lending the song a bit more catchiness. The beat is minimal rather than overpowering, and the guitar’s job is reduced to a despair-filled, fuzzed-out chord now and then. Oh, let’s not forget the well-placed funeral bells. “No Matter Where You Shoot Me Down” sounds like a proper, elegant commercialization of Doom Metal compared to the cookie-cutter filler of the rest of the album.
Unless you’re really into Gothic Rock, or think that the band’s jumping onto Ville Valo’s bandwagon was a move for the better, “The Grandiose Nowhere” does little to justify a purchase. It’s a shame that “The Letter” received the honour of being the album’s video single rather than “No Matter Where You Shoot Me Down,” as the latter is the song most worthy of promotion. There has been no shortage of Gothic Rock coming out of Europe lately, so “The Grandiose Nowhere” should be reserved for only the diehards. Everyone else can pass on this mediocre album.
(Online August 24, 2010)