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The 11th Hour - "Lacrima Mortis" (CD)

The 11th Hour - "Lacrima Mortis" CD cover image

"Lacrima Mortis" track listing:

1. We All Die Alone
2. Rain on Me
3. The Death of Life
4. Tears of the Bereaved
5. Reunion Illusion
6. Nothing but Pain
7. Bury Me

Reviewed by on January 6, 2012

"[Ed] Warby has the uncanny knack of making you enjoy sadness and despair so such that you couldn’t even consider suicide, as death would only to prevent you from listening to this even more."

If Swedish doom legends Candlemass had a manic depressive bastard child with Finland’s Insomnium it would sound a little something like Dutch band The 11th Hour. Outside of the soulfully depressing musical effort of “Lacrima Mortis,” the more surprising fact is that it is the work of largely one man, Ed Warby (who sings and plays guitar, bass and drums). Warby has the uncanny knack of making you enjoy sadness and despair so such that you couldn’t even consider suicide, as death would only prevent you from listening to this even more.

“Lacrima Mortis” is a sonic masterpiece that should be in the collection of any fan that considers him/herself a fan of epic doom metal. The music so effectively captures the overwhelming emotion of depression that anyone who hasn't experienced it could instantly feel pain and those who have could easily identify.

In front of the slow deliberate riffs that practically weep with sorrow, Warby flashes his incredible dead on impression of Candlemass/Solitude Aeturnus singer Robert Lowe. Juxtaposed to the beautiful rich clean singing are the death growls of session vocalist Pim Blankenstein (Beyond Belief/Officium Triste). Blankenstein’s vocals with Warby’s riffs are a convergence that would make the most bubbly personality sob with despair. With each successive listen, I have visions of being slowly suffocated under a truck as it inches ever so slowly on top of me crushing my chest.

To explain each of the album’s seven songs on an individual basis would be like recanting each despondent year of a seven year era of anguish. Suffice to say that they are slow, dripping with tears and fresh from a funeral for a grave with no name, only this may be one funeral you wouldn’t want to be skipping out on! The grim beauty of “Rain On Me,” the “Cry From the Crypt”-esque riff of “Tears of the Bereaved” and the quiet interludes in the middle portion of “Reunion Illusion” are but mere glimpses of brilliance that permeate throughout this gorgeous album. These pieces, along with perfect use of keyboards and violins (“Nothing But Pain”), all wrapped inside breath taking production have me declaring that Mr. Warby has risen to the level of “super musician.”

Listeners expecting enticing and uplifting songs need not apply for “Lacrima Mortis.” However, those who truly appreciate excellent doom metal that is as much a sonic listening experience as it is an emotion altering one, The 11th Hour is sure to rise to the top of your doom metal collection.

Highs: Overwhelmingly emotional and crushing doom beauty

Lows: The average song length of 7.5 minutes could prove too much for some.

Bottom line: The only reason to attend a funeral for a grave with no name: sorrowful doom is so uplifting!

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)