BLEEDING THE STARS
Oblivion / Steamhammer / SPV
Release: July 26, 2019
German gothic metal band Lacrimas Profundere has gone back to their roots and delivered a truly magnificent album with “Bleeding the Stars”. In a refreshed and revamped line-up, which currently consists of lead guitarist Oliver Schmid, drummer Dominik Scholz, and new vocalist Julian Larre (who replaced former singer Rob Vitacca in 2018), the trio have crafted an album that links their doom metal past with their gothic metal present.
Channeling the doomy mood of their fourth album “Burning: A wish” (2001), this new record can be seen as a new beginning, a rebirth from the ashes, if you will, for Lacrimas Profundere.
Discussing the new album, guitarist and band leader Oliver Schmid stated the following: “I cast aside the shackles of the last years, in search of my musical roots, my dream to be a musician, breaking down Lacrimas Profundere to their very essence along the way – for the sake of music […] Each song is a part of the heart and soul that is Lacrimas Profundere and we can’t wait for you to hear it in its entirety.”
I knew and will forever know
The kingdom solicitude
Mother of doom
Father of fate
Like screams in empty halls
After all those infinities
A sip of multiverse
A sleeping throne
If I could describe “Bleeding the Stars” in three words I would say it’s dark, slow, and melodic, but there are so many layers and subtle elements to it, these words barely scrape the surface of what this album has to offer. Each of the 10 songs is a unique take on the doom / gothic aesthetic, while keeping the core sound of the band intact by taking the best features of each era (speaking strictly in terms of vocalists Christopher Schmid and Rob Vitacca’s tenure with the band and what each has brought to the mix) and creating a moody album that is both cohesive and varied. And I love it when bands can pull off such a thing, as most of the time the songs either sound way to similar or way to different to each other, but with this album everything feels connected and fluid. And that mostly because of Julian Larre’s incredible vocal range and abilities, but also because of the general gloomy mood that flows throughout the album.
And you get a taste of what Julian can do from the get go with “I knew and will forever know”, which starts slow and doomy with discordant guitar riffs (a la Paradise Lost) and deep melodic cleans, but soon the drums create a sense of urgency and lead the way into the chorus where Julian proves he can scream with the best of them. Such a perfect introduction to the album. With the next track, “Celestite woman”, things move in a slightly more gothic direction with chugging guitars, beautiful backing piano melodies, and deep, resounding vocals, very similar to Peter Steele, which give the song a certain Type O Negative vibe. Despite the harsh vocals, the emotional “The kingdom solicitude” is a more laid back, deeply melancholic goth anthem, with a haunting piano melody in the background, a healthy dose of melodeath beauty coming from the combined forces of guitar and harsh vocals, making it a highlight of the album. Both “Mother of doom” and “The reaper” have some early HIM vibes to them, coming from Julian’s velvety smooth vocals (and the occasional lyrics) but also from the backing instrumental which creates such a nice contrast to the vocals, while adding atmosphere and depth to the songs. Goth rocker “Father of fate” is a bit more up-tempo with melodic guitar lines and intense vocals – cleans and growls, giving the song a nice dynamic but also a very sorrowful feel because of the lyrical content and delivery.
With the incredibly catchy yet sinister stand out track “Like screams in empty halls” we get the song that differs the most on the entire album, as it feels more direct and less melancholic like the rest. The tension that runs through it, coming from the backing orchestration and subdued choirs, makes it even more riveting. Also we get to hear some of Julian’s higher register, coupled with a visceral scream, and some more ominous undertones coming from the urgency of the guitars and the drums. I feel like the instrumental side of this track is a combination of the melancholy vibes of “The kingdom solicitude” and the urgency and grief of “Father of fate”, but that could be because of how well the songs flow into each other and create this sense of continuity and fluidity to the music. “After all those infinities” is a short but sweet piano-driven type of a ballad, with an up-beat tempo to it and delicate vocals while “A sip of multiverse” is as melodic and beautiful as it is dense and rich in harmonies coming from Julian’s higher register, giving the song a lighter feel. With the haunting “A sleeping throne” we come back full circle to the melodic doom side of the band, as we again get this sense of foreboding from the guitars, making for such an epic finale to the album, which in turn makes you want to hit the replay button.
There are so many moods and feels throughout “Bleeding the Stars”, but sorrow and melancholy seem to be the dominant ones, and which, although the norm for this genre of music, never felt so heartfelt and soulful. I am beyond amazed at how versatile Julian Larre is as a vocalist, and I am certain that with him behind the mike, the best is yet to come for Lacrimas Profundere, as this album clearly proves.
No filler songs, no dip in quality, no boring moments can be found on this album. Short, cohesive and drenched in melancholy from start to finish, this collection of songs will resonate deeply within your heart. Personal favorites: “Mother of doom”, “Like screams in empty halls”, “Celestite woman” and “A sleeping throne”
Rating: 10 / 10
Julian Larre – vocals
Oliver Nikolas Schmid – guitars, bass, keyboard
Dominik Scholz – drums