The 11th Hour Lacrima Mortis

The 11th Hour Lacrima Mortis
Slow, gloomy riffs, rich synth orchestration, despondent melodies, Latinized invocations of death and tears ― these are all familiar elements to any fan of melodic doom. Stripped down to this list of component parts, Lacrima Mortis, the second album from the 11th Hour, may not seem like anything special, but the aural enticements aren't in the band's relation to generic formulas ― the pleasure is in the execution. Lacrimas Morti was written and performed almost entirely by Ed Warby (better known for his drumming in Gorefest, Hail of Bullets and Ayreon), with growling interjections from Officium Triste's Pim Blankenstein. Warby constantly shifts the focus and emotional intensity between instruments and voices to achieve a delicate unity of sound ― the piano, especially, plays a key role, reining in the heavy momentum of the thick, craggy riffs. Sampling a crying woman in "Tears of the Bereaved" is a bit over the top, but it's a fairly minor flaw. And if I say the 11th Hour evoke My Dying Bride or even Green Carnation, in a vague sense, I mean this not as a slight to the band's creativity but as appreciation for Warby's musical sensibilities. (Napalm)