As bleak and mournful the last album was, it somehow managed to rock and roll itself out of a modern cliché called Gothic Metal, which was quite an accomplishment in 2002. Fast forward two years and listen to “Ave End” and you’ll hear the band has gone back to the moodier sounds of “Burning – A Wish” and combined them with the Rock’n’Roll attitude of “Fall I Will Follow”, which makes the new output their most balanced effort.
While PARADISE LOST, KATATONIA, ANATHEMA and THE GATHERING all perfected their sound years ago and moved on to new challenges, the German sextet are slowly nearing their point of culmination on “Ave End”, closing in on their colleagues. I like this album very much because it has a distinctive sound, a sound that can only be LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE and to think that vocalist Christopher Schmid is actually starting to sound like a real singer makes me even more happier listening to this record.
“One Hope’s Evening” already invokes new approaches to the band’s Gothic sound, very simple guitar arrangements and slow piano movement with the centre of attention being the fragility of Christopher’s voice, a crying serenade from start to finish. The title track reinforces some heavier tempos, a primitive rocker with some unexpected twists (notice the stop during the second verse).
“To Bleed Or Not To Be”, “Testified” and the echoing goodbye’s of “Sarah Lou” just keep the album’s quality at the very stabile level with the spell being shortly disturbed by straightforward tracks like “Amber Girl” and “Astronautumn” (I smell a reused riff from “For Bad Times” at the beginning). “Evade” plays on a load of catchy lead melodies that won’t go away, they’re in the intro, verse, chorus, bridge and back in the chorus, I believe this has to be one of their greatest tracks ever!
Some of you might have a problem with vocalists who don’t sing with passion, you know the “feel”. Christopher doesn’t have a superb voice but he can be incredibly gloomy and emotive when the music calls for it (unlike Aaron Stainthorpe), just take a listen to the closing ballad “Come, Solitude”.
As for the sound, the band chose to go back to Lungfull Studios (where they recorded “Burning – A Wish); the move definitely worked for them because the sound is well balanced, the last albums had good sounds but they lacked some of the harmony found on “Ave End”.
“Ave End” doesn’t work on everyone, it grows on you with time but if you enjoyed the last two albums, you’ll like this one just the same. (Online September 6, 2004)