Ok, ok... another year begins and progVisions starts with an album that is instores three days ago, so this review is like a preview. Lacrimosa, as other good bands do (Flower Kings, Sopor Aeternus) goes on releasing new material yearly. Sometimes the albums are better, sometimes not... but I prefer this way than the “businness artists” as Metallica, Pink Floyd or Springsteen, that lasts six years in releasing mediocre albums.
Some of you could think… what happened with the review of "Fassade", the last Lacrimosa´s album?... well... it wasn´t published (in fact it wasn´t written) because I didn´t like that album and I didn´t receive the review from any collaborator. We don´t have all the time in the world, and sometimes we review the most interesting releases.
Let´s go with "Echos", first album of Lacrimosa with a different cover (a nice ship) but, as always, painted in black and white. The album opens with the most symphonic piece of the band´s career (yes, more than “Sanctus” and more than “Am ende der Stille”), an instrumental overture with choirs titled “Kyrie”... the album starts with 12 minutes and 42 seconds of orchestral music!. I can´t find a description... the track is plenty of symphonic beauty and that “romantic-decadent-melancholic” aromas that Tilo Wolff composes. After this session of beauty we find “Durch Nacht und Flut” (6:03), first single of the album and the most catchy (do you remember “Der Morgen danach”?), but a good song after all. “Sacrifice” (7:04) is a strange track with an hypnotic bass, nice orchestral passages, and Wolff singing in a very passionate way. “Apart” (4:16) is the habitual song sung and composed by Anne, this time with electronic backgrounds and ethereal voices. This song is not the best of the album. “Ein Hauch von Menschlichkeit” (5:05) has also electronic sounds and a sweet flavour of brilliant sadness. Here the mix of electronic and classic music is very natural... but I warn you that this is not the normal Lacrimosa´s sound you can find in their lastest albums. “Eine Nacht in Ewigkeit” (5:52) is a delicate song with Chopinesque reminiscences, with only Wolff´s voice wrapped by a sweet piano and strings until the orquestra enters. An amazing track. Now it´s time for “Malina” (4:48) a song that can be enjoyed by both old fans (electro-gothic) and new ones (classic-gothic and progressive)... I must say that I love the mix of harpsichord, electronic basses, a catchy refrain. “Kyrie” and the last song are great, but with “Malina” Herr Wolff shows us that he´s the master of how to combinate classic and modern elements. I know that some of you, when you listen to the song, won´t be agree with me, but sometimes gold can be found at the dirtiest mines. And the last track is “Die Schreie sind verstummt”... “only” 12 minutes and 42 seconds with the most classic Lacrimosa with wonderful melodies and arrangements. The orchestra, the slow drumbeat, the melodic guitar solos, the climax. An immortal song. After some minutes, a nice gift sounds... another version of "Durch Nacht und Flut". It seems that it´s the same song but... hey!, the final part is sung in spanish language. It´s funny Tilo speaking as a german tourist. It´s a nice gift for Mexican fans (Mexico is, along with Germany, the best market for the band).
In short, an album that, although it doesn´t reach the quality of "Elodia" (a jewel) is much better than "Fassade" and shows us that Lacrimosa (well… Tilo Wolff) is one of the most interesting composers. There are tracks that will surprise you –I suppose that not very possitively if you´ve only listened to "Elodia"- because they´re linked with the last stage of the band (Inferno, Satura, Einsamkeit) but you´ll be very happy with the thirty six minutes of beautiful fragility, of lyric emotion, of “Kyrie”, “Eine Nacht in Ewigkeit” & “Die Schreie sind verstummt”. I repeat: a great album but please don´t compare it to "Elodia". Lacrimosa is a band that improves themselves with every album.