Lachrimatory
Transient

According to my research a “Lachrimatory” is a vase that stores cried tears.  If my findings don’t clue you in on what kind of band Brazil’s Lachrimatory are then you are probably beyond my help.  This is mournful, gothic death/doom that will have you reaching for the tissues and a shoulder to weep on.  Originally released in 2011 as a limited CD-R run, Solitude Productions picked this one up for widespread release in 2014.  I’m not going to lie to you.  This style is really not my cup of tea.  I can go doom/death, funeral doom and just about anything else, but this morose and (pun intended) lachrymose stuff ain’t for me.  On paper this reminds me of a slower Thorns of the Carrion, plenty of My Dying Bride, Theater of Tragedy, On Thorns I Lay, Paradise Lost, Celestial Season and several others.  I actually love the shit out of a few of those bands and am pretty indifferent to the others.  The songs are lengthy explorations; violins and cello are prominently featured, the vocals straddle the fence of screams/growls n’ cleans and though the tempos occasionally pump up the sad with a little double kick action this stuff is slooooow.

Don’t let my personal preference hinder you from enjoyment.  Opener “Seclusion” and it’s long, funeral procession build-up really hunker down on some atmosphere.  The guitars are crystalline and shimmering with classical strings dropping the mood into a well without a bucket.  If you are hoping for quick thrills, this isn’t the ticket.  It takes over 2 minutes for vocals to enter the fray, a dual headed beast comprised of starving screams and gorged growls.  There are a few nice tempo changes and the drumming almost gets jazzy later on with some nice double-bass leanings boosting the madness.  Synths accompany the riffs…the riffs themselves aren’t bad but do seem to repeat on forevermore but at their best they’ve got a nice, dirtily distorted down-tempo.  Overall, this is an inoffensive dirge that’ll probably drive its desired fanbase wild.  As for my personal opinion…whew, that was a touch n’ go 12 minutes and change.  Feel like I need a stool, towel, ice and a pep talk from my manager right now.

The title track (nicknamed after the band as opposed to the actual album title) is plenty more of the same, and I do mean plenty.  Clocking in at 11:30 you get violin, cello, sluggish riffs with some nice twists, bass lines that barely register above a flatline and a heavily mummified version of hurried drum pacing every now and again.  Clean backing vocals enter from time to time and the whole affair reminds me of something you’d listen to while dancing hand in hand with a ghost in the hallways of an abandoned castle.  If that’s your thing…you’re about to get beamed up to Heaven.  Unfortunately if it isn’t, God help you through the difficult task of sitting through its entirety without squirming like a nightcrawler on a fishhook.

“Twilight” enters on the haunches of a sludgy bass-line and dives headfirst into even sludgier guitar riffs which are much, much more palatable to this ol’ bastard.  There’s a little push and driving aggression here and the symphonic parts weave around this dark, desolation groove with skill and grace.  The vocals duel much harder this time with a nice doubling of death-y growls and blackened screams.  Though technically competent, the clean vocals completely flatten the head of steam they had going with a machine press.  A little face is saved once a mid-tempo, grinding death metal surge is juxtaposed against a web of intertwining clean and distorted guitars…pretty cool stuff and the neoclassical piano is well-done.  Things start to drag until the finale turns to sheer riff and proficient drum fill violence drowned in a vat of toxic extreme vocals.  Fuck yeah, this is by far the best track on the record for my money.

I’m not getting a lot from “Clarity.”  It’s okay.  The riff predating the midsection is a killer, but the romanticism bogs me down and waterlogs the eardrums after prolonged exposure.  The opening riff of “Deluge” is a doozy…spare, sparse, barren as a wasteland, eerie, masterfully arranged…  Definitely into it because of the way it does a whole lot with very few chords; the arrangement of the notes is juuuuuuust right and hits my sweet spot (especially when the 2nd guitar begins adding accents to the melody).  Too bad the riff never returns and the middle mires in the usual melodic doom/death funk.  The near groove at the end is dirty and swingin’ like Sabbath with the kind of gothic despondency Celestial Season’s awesome Solar Lovers had on its best tracks.  These guys are kind of tough for me to listen to…because my extended stretches of boredom are rewarded with several absolutely KNOCKOUT change-ups.  Closer “Void” caps the record off in dreamland for the reviewer.  It’s rich in melodrama yet completely sterile…great playing by the band, though sadly the execution isn’t to my liking.  Personal preference, I guess!

Don’t let one asshole’s opinion chase you away from TransientLachrimatory are definitely great at what they do.  They even impress me with some of their melancholic, dirty riffing and extensive song compositions.  The genre isn’t my bread n’ butter, so I’m not the proper judge for this trial.  If you like the melodic, symphonic doom/death style you could do a whole lot worse than this.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jay S
April 29th, 2015

Comments

  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    I like this.


  2. Commented by: Jay

    Cool Nick! Glad you dig it! Yeah, this stuff can be hit or miss with me. Heard a couple of other bands in the style recently like Oktor that really dig a job on me.

    This has some great parts but it just didn’t click all the way. For the doom/death deal I prefer uglier, dirtier stuff or a little more movement, but there’s no doubt they guys have some killin’ riffs and ideas, no matter what I think.


  3. Commented by: Jay

    Really DID a job on me. Ain’t got my typing shoes on yet. I’ll save all my errors for my posts, so hopefully less in tonight’s reviews. Ha!


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