Lacrimas Profundere – How to Shroud Yourself With Night Review

Germany’s Lacrimas Profundere have been stoking the flames of gothic doom since the mid-nineties, exploring a range of related styles over the years. Their early works were heavily based in the My Dying Bride framework of morose doom, but they evolved into a more rock-oriented sound mixing To Die For and Type O Negative tropes willy-nilly. They found their best moments exploring that style on albums like Ave End and Filthy Notes from Frozen Hearts and could usually be counted on for rocking, super-angsty fun. Lineup shuffles and personnel drama threatened to end the good/sad times, but 2019s Bleeding the Stars saw them reborn with a new, very talented vocalist and edgier approach. Roughly three years later we’re graced with the followup, How to Shroud Yourself With Night, and the band continues to tweak the parameters of their style. With a theme based around the desire to be invisible and disappear from the world, you can expect much unhappiness and dark reflections as the band employs doom, goth rock, metalcore, and black metal in their search for the perfect way to express negative thoughts. The result is interesting and enjoyable, but can it top its well-regarded predecessor?

No, it cannot, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had on HtSYWN, and the diverse goth basket the band offers is interesting. As has been the case for years, Lacrimas Profundere are at their best when utilizing a rocking, upbeat goth style, and they nail it on cuts like “A Cloak Woven of Stars,” “In a Lengthening Shadow,” and “An Invisible Beginning.” These are straightforward, energy-rich numbers and the band can nail these kinds of tunes in their coma-sleep. They dabble in In Flames style Swedish melodeath on “To Disappear In You” with entertaining results, managing to keep a bleak mood despite the bright guitar harmonies, and Julian Larre delivers some highly convincing death metal vocals. The band also take a swing at conventional doom on opener “Wall of Gloom” with a strong Paradise Lost influence present, and it too works, offering plenty of glum despair.

Despite these positives, How to Shroud Yourself With Night does have issues. The overall level of material is below what we heard on Bleeding the Stars and the high points are not as soaring. The abrasive “The Curtain of White Silence” takes time to grow on you, and the screamo/metalcore influence limits its appeal. “The Vastness of Infinity” has a spacey, cold vibe but never seems to click into high gear and go someplace, and “Unseen” is an extra heavy groove rocker that has hooks but ultimately feels one-note. At a concise 40 minutes, HtSYWN is a breezy spin and one with enough upbeat rock orientation to keep you tuned in and grooving along. Even the lesser cuts grow hooks with time, and nothing here can be considered bad. It’s just a lesser collection of tunes than we got last time.

Bleeding the Stars introduced us to the vocal talents of Julian Larre and he was a big part of what made that album successful. He’s a very talented frontman capable of jumping between gothy clean singing, black metal screeching, death roaring, and hardcore shout/screams, all in a flash. His performance is once again impressive and he brings his full tool kit to the material, giving each song a sizeable shot of adrenaline and charisma (case in point: “A Cloak Woven of Stars”). The man has the rare ability to sound positively soul sick and suicidal one moment, then rock an upbeat goth croon the next. Founding guitarist and chief composer, Oliver Nikolas Schmid fleshes out the songs with classic goth rock staples and provides enough heavy riffs and buoyant chugs to keep the enterprise aloft and moving. He isn’t flashy but he has a deep understanding of the style and knows how to write memorable moments.

I came into How to Shroud Yourself With Night curious to see where Lacrimas Profundere would go after the highly entertaining Bleeding the Stars, and they haven’t ranged very far at all. The same elements and influences are present, but the overall execution has slightly less impact. If you like the classic Lacrimas sound, you should enjoy this. If you were hoping for some radical evolution, you will be disappointed. Give this a mopey spin and see what happens. Peaceville!

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 224 kbps mp3
Label: SPV/Steamhammer
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: August 26th, 2022

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