Fittingly Bleak And Melodically Catchy

Formed way back in 1993, German rockers Lacrimas Profundere have seen both their style and line up change somewhat over the years. From their more metal roots Lacrimas Profundere have gradually transformed into Goth rockers, the type that adopt the shoe gazing despair of grunge and meld some light metal around it, throwing in catchy riffs to guarantee the listener is snared. Their latest album release, 'Filthy Notes For Frozen Hearts' sees the band voyaging very much into H.I.M territory, breaching the gap between metal and melodic, anthemic gothic rock which in turn creates a dark broody almost comic book atmosphere that even manages to capture the bleak rain soaked streets on the album sleeve.

'Filthy Notes For Frozen Hearts' begins its journey as would be expected with atmospheric opener 'My Velvet Little Darkness'. A guitar riff gains speed as drums crash around before lead singer Christopher's deep gravel-tinged croon pierces the track allowing it to melodically please. Previous single release, 'Again It's Over' takes this process one step further. Initially grasping at a more metal base, 'Again It's Over' quickly merges a catchy chorus with rhythmic hooks that are hard to resist, transforming the track into rock radio friendly number. In fact this soon appears to be the path Lacrimas Profundere are heading down as all bar one track on 'Filthy Notes For Frozen Hearts' come perfectly packaged in a radio friendly three minute wrapper, giving them just enough time to put across their catchy Goth rock and avoiding the pitfall of running on too long. Sadly though what works for one or two tracks does not necessarily work for a whole album and after a while some songs blend into one another and become hard to tell apart.

Although unfortunately not a cover of the Neil Diamond classic, 'Sweet Caroline' does manage to differ slightly from the rest of the pack. Offering growling snarling vocals during the verses, 'Sweet Caroline' breaks into a love song mould come the chorus as Christopher's vocals embrace a lighter stance that helps the song to adopt its own identity. In the end though 'Filthy Notes For Frozen Hearts' is perhaps only going to appeal to those who already love the band or who just can't get enough of the atmospherically dark broodiness of H.I.M. Lacrimas Profundere adhere rigidly to the guidelines of European Goth rock, not attempting to tamper with the formula which may work for a little while but essentially does not provide enough material for a whole album. Fittingly bleak and melodically catchy, 'Filthy Notes For Frozen Hearts' is perhaps best for H.I.M followers only.