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Lacrimae Mortalium : L'Ange de Glace

The Doom Death band Lacrimae Mortalium write their lyrics in French which is quite a feat.

Once I asked Marquis, the singer of French Funereal Doom Ataraxie, if he had already thought of writing some of his lyrics in French. I always find it more interesting to listen to a guy singing in his mother tongue rather than awkwardly trying to write in English words that more than once you feel he doesn’t quite get the full meaning of (like often in ‘Slavic’ Doom). Marquis’ answer was that French appears in his lyrics to give an exotic feel to them; ultimately, he considered very difficult to growl in French, because of its ‘un-smoothness’.

Lacrimae Mortalium prove him totally wrong. The band hails from Canada, from the French part of it. As a minority within a vastly americanized world, French-speaking Canadian hold dear the ancient legacy of the French colonists who settled in these territories and seize each opportunity to defend their old language.

What you have here is a superb, well-balanced melodic Death Doom album all sung in French. Two ranges of vocals often intertwine, or more exactly follow each other as there is only one singer, Slavaz, who sounds as convincing in his shrill Black-ish lines as in the thunderous eruptions of a deep growling. He is also capable of switching from one voice to the other in the middle of a sentence, making the presence of the above-mentioned Marquis in this review twice accurate; Slavaz is surely as talented and his sole part justifies the purchase of this album. The way this duet works, the dynamic it impulses to the music makes me think of a rather confidential but excellent band: The Living Fields. As a matter of fact, Lacrimae Mortalium display the same art in exciting, lively, potent mix of Black, Death and Doom, conveying a sense of epicness and telluric energy that won’t abate. The overall rhythm is quite fast, the drummer in particular doesn’t spare any drum elements and takes more than his share of the savage feast the band serves all along the seven tracks of the album.

To spot in each song a distinctive moment, an original passage, a surprising turn could be quite a puzzling affair, and this is the weakest point of this otherwise talented bunch of doomsters: the tracks are too much alike and the album flows from start to finish without ever (or so scarcely, above all if you don’t understand French) grabbing you by the throat. I’ll pick up the third track ‘L’Ange de Glace’, with the apparition of two female voices, and the sixth ‘Anxiété’, which showcases a true Doom atmosphere, a plodding rhythm that ends up in a chaotic Death-ish blast.

This is very good indeed and the lyrics are very well written too, which is some kind of a feat, really. The problem I see is the too strong uniformity of the whole, the lack of original ideas that I however think they're capable of, and maybe the fact that, being only one schyzophrenic singer, the high- and low-pitched ranges are used in a too systematical pattern without any good reason. Still, very recommendable.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. La Nuit
2. Ténèbres
3. L'Ange de Glace
4. Lugubre Empire
5. Lacrimae Mortalium
6. Anxiété
7. Solitude

Duration : Approx: 45 minutes

Visit the Lacrimae Mortalium bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-03-10 by Bertrand Marchal
Hate Your Guts Records
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