More goth-metal from Napalm Records? Sure, I think we all need a break from the endless waves of retro-death, retro-thrash and black metal (which is by definition retro). Lacrimas Profundere has been around forever and over the past five or six albums, they’ve settled into a comfort zone of glum, goth-rock in the same vein as Entwine, H.I.M., To Die For and naturally they include plenty of nods to The Cure and The Cult. While one can hammer them for essentially releasing Ave End over and over again, their knack for keeping things catchy and lively continue to draw me back time after time. While I think their Filthy Notes For Frozen Hearts was their best release in this cycle, I was more than pleased with 2010s The Grandiose Nowhere and still spin it pretty often when that urge to be morose hits me. Antiadore continues right along where Grandiose left off and you get a dozen well-written doses of goth metal/rock with all the self-loathing, unrequited love, wrist carving and stalkery you could ever long for (while gazing out a window into the snow).
What always made Lacrimas Profundere successful was their ability to craft up-tempo goth-rockers with enough energy to keep metal fans engaged and focused, despite the “I’m so depressed and emo” theatrics. Songs like “My Release in Pain,” “Dead to Me,” “Abandon” and the title track keep this proud tradition going and make things about as fist-in-the-air as goth-metal ever gets. All are infectious, with catchy choruses and have enough guitar power and ummph to grab your attention. Other tunes are slower and much more emotionally raw like “All for Nothing,” “Head Held High” and “Still in Need” and all pack a lot of grim, morose power while being very accessible and memorable. The latter track has an epic bummer of a chorus, capable of bringing black clouds to a double rainbow kind of day.
Yes, the vocals are the typically goth, wounded baritone bellow mixed with heartfelt whispers and yep, they’re plenty of keys, but the overall sound is heavy and compelling. The balance between the fast and frowny tracks is well done and just as you start to get suicidal, they pick you up and dust you off with a rousing, rocking number. All of the songs work and most work well, but album closer “Sigh” could probably have been left off, as it’s the runt of the litter.
Antiadore marks the third album with Rob Vitacca on vocals and he gets better on each outing. He has the goth singing style down cold and his dreary, unhappy delivery makes the songs pop. Sometimes he’s a bit like Big Pete Steele (Type O Negative, Carnivore) and other times he reminds me of a more manly Ville Valo (H.I.M.). The riffs from Oliver Schmid and Tony Berger are solid and they continue the trend of rocking when rock is needed most. They aren’t flashy at all, but they know the genre and play to its strengths.
Utterly without surprises or changes in style, Antiadore is a comfortable, familiar collection of goth rock tunes you can sink your teeth into instead of your wrist. Lacrimas Profundere can write these albums in their sleep, and for all I know, they did. However, it’s quite an infectious listen and it’s sure to appeal to their downtrodden demographic. Since it’s approaching summer here in the States, this feels a bit out-of-place in my play rotation, but there it sits anyway, bringing the recently departed winter back for a few more days at least. Brrrrr!