The 11th Hour – “Lacrima Mortis”

The 11th Hour – “Lacrima Mortis” (Napalm Records)

The 11th Hour is a Dutch/Swedish collaboration between 2 death metal veterans Ed Warby, known mainly for his work as the drummer for Gorefest and Hail of Bullets, and Rogga Johansson, the man behind countless bands such as Paganizer, Ribspreader and The Grotesquery. Together, they made 2009’s doom release of the year in “Burden of Grief”, a bleak concept album about the last days of a man dying from a lung disease. Laden with funeral doom, a morbid sound and contrasted by some of the most beautifully melancholic melodies ever, it was hauntingly captivating. As such, “Lacrima Mortis”, which describes the last tear shed by a dying person, is their long awaited follow up – and not without controversy given Rogga’s absence owing to illness. As such, Officium Triste’s (and also 11th Hour live) vocalist Pim Blankenstein stepped in to provide the brutal, guttural roars. Musically, while tracks like ‘Rain On Me’, ‘We All Die Alone’ and ‘Nothing But Pain’ continue in the same plodding, mournful style, the overall sound has shifted somewhat from funeral to a more gothic / death / doom sound (well beyond Paradise Lost at their heaviest) with keyboards now providing more of a share of the melodies, which thankfully remain rich and textured throughout. Ironically, this may have arisen as a result of the band’s unexpected success on the live circuit but whatever the case, it’s still an incredibly crushing experience that will not leave you unmoved.

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