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Lacrima Mortis : Optare Mortem (EP)

A solid showcasing of potential, but as a full bore release, needs a bit more character to make it stand out.

Not knowing much of Lacrima Mortis but knowing the meaning of the term (if you don't know look it up! Pretty grim!) I went in thinking "I bet this is some real grimy dirty doom/death!" and a quick glance at their live outfits it was solidified. Unfortunately, the music itself doesn't give out the same types of feelings… but that's what you get for judging a book by its cover! Lacrima Mortis play a very minimal but riff heavy version of doom/death that sometimes could really use a bit of jazzing up. Lets dig in!

First off let me get this out of the way, the production needs some work. Not in the sense that say, the guitars are inaudible or drums completely drown out the band but in a way that the entire band is completely clear but in a really flat way. Like everything is so balanced that any character or atmosphere that the intro may have conjured may as well not have existed. The only time something came out and wowed me was during the second riff section during 'Of Desolation' where the guitars have a phase on them to give the minimalist guitar section some character. That's not to say all is bad, I do really like how audible the bass is and the thwack behind the bass drum. But considering this is a independent release that sounds like it was put together as more of a promo for things to come this is kind of a null complaint. I'm just saying leaving things a bit more raw could of really lent this some much needed character and heaviness.

Song-wise we have two solid compositions and one that serves as a acoustic intro. The intro itself does have some nice movement but is really just there to set us up for 'Of Desolation'. Like I had mentioned before the songs are very riff heavy but aren't exactly note heavy or harmony heavy. Which is why I had wished the guitars had a bit more punch to them so I could actually feel the weight of the riff . The writing does have some nice flourishes with parts having clean guitars as a support behind the more melodic moments or even a bass break during 'Of Desolation' but the dull production leaves much of the flavour up to your imagination. Especially during the simple two chords stomps that I'm sure are MUCH heavier in a live setting. But that's really the crux of the problem. The riffs aren't really coming out as well as they could, much of the writing is very minimal so making what's there count is imperative and as far as hooks are concerned there isn't a whole lot there either. It's not really bad but needs something to add some character to the proceedings.

What really makes this apparent are the vocals though. The man known as 'Dread' does the low gurgles as good as anyone out there… But that's it. There are no dynamics to be found vocally (or even in the flat production) not to say it's a bad style but when there are virtually no dynamic changes it becomes much more apparent. I have no doubt that after 'Introspectum' that they wanted you to feel the weight of the true opener but sadly even the acoustic guitar is pushed to the same volume as the next track so any dynamic slapping of the face that could have been there has now been rendered less effective.

I really do think these guys have lots of potential and combined with their live image and art direction could really become something. Like I had mentioned before I've no doubt that they were putting this together as more of a demo rather than a full bore release and I'm looking forward to hearing where these guys are headed. Until then, it's a solid offering of doom potential but needs a tad more for Lacrima Mortis to stand out from the pack.

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Reviewer's rating: 6/10


Tracklist :
1. Introspectum
2. Of Desolation
3. Optare Mortem

Duration : Approx. 13 minutes

Visit the Lacrima Mortis bandpage.

Reviewed on 2018-04-21 by Eli Elliott
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