The 11th Hour - Lacrima Mortis

Posted on Friday, February 24, 2012

For those unfamiliar with The 11th Hour, this is longtime Death Metal drummer extraordinaire Ed Warby (Gorefest, Hail of Bullets, Ayreon, Demiurg) trying his hand at Doom Metal, and doing a damn fine job of it I might add. This is his second full-length offering, Burden of Grief being one of the more pleasant surprises of 2009. Now, when I say this is Ed Warby’s baby, I mean it. He’s doing drums, guitars, bass, keyboards, and singing. And yes, I do mean singing. His voice is actually quite good. A work in progress, perhaps, but sounding even more improved this time around. He’s kind of like a poor man’s Patrick Walker (Warning, 40 Watt Sun), and his operatic style gives half of the project’s sound a more traditional Doom feel. What about the other half, you ask? The added dimension of guest Death Metal vocals takes Warby’s ideas to new heights depths. It accentuates the heaviness of the compositions and exposes the heartache that lies within, taking things from “meh” to “whoa!” On the first album it was Rogga Johansson doing guest Death Metal pipes, proving he can do more than write the same kick-ass Paganizer/Ribspreader album over and over again. This time around it’s Pim Blankenstein from longtime underground Death/Doom mainstays Officium Triste. A wise choice for Warby considering Pim knows his way around a forlorn tune like few others. He fills Rogga’s shoes seamlessly, his mournful Death roar in perhaps its finest form ever, adding even more poignant weight to Ed’s contrasting clean croon. The melodies flow like crimson from slit wrists underneath a blanket of monolithic heaviness, while the two vocalists trade light and dark to near perfection. A couple tracks miss the mark slightly, but you can’t do much better than “Rain on Me,” “The Death of Life,” “Reunion Illusion,” “Nothing but Pain,” and “Bury Me” on a rainy, alcoholic night of solitude, when the street light coming through the window and a lit cigarette are all that illuminate the room.

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