Lacrimosa - Lichgestalt
Hall Of Sermon
Classic/Progressive Rock
9 songs (69:12)
Release year: 2005
Lacrimosa, Hall Of Sermon
Reviewed by Ian
Tilo Wolff is a god. End of review.

For those who might need further information about this genius Swiss musician and his soul band Lacrimosa, let me elaborate a little bit.

Starting back in 1990, with the Angst album, Lacrimosa music in an unforgettable experience. Benefiting from total artistic freedom, being signed by Hall Of Sermon label, founded by the same Tilo Wolff for the sole purpose (then) of promoting his band, the Lacrimosa sound developed from a somewhat experimental stuff (early years) to an incredible scenery of classic/goth/progressive soundscape. In 1994, with the permanent addition of Finnish singer/keyboard player Anne Nurmi, the music became more and more progressive, more introspective and poetic. From the powerful Inferno (1994) or Stille (1997) where the gothic/progressive core of the music was spiced with classic influences and passing through the unique 1999 release of Elodia (an album recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the absolute of classic and goth/progressive mix), the band delved more and more into ethereal realms, becoming more and more poetic and dreamy. Truth is that the music started losing its metal edge, with the guitars becoming more of a background section. This was the case with the next two albums – the 2001 Fassade and 2003 Echos. I was really anxious waiting for their next effort, wondering what new realms were they going to explore this time.

To my immense gratitude, the latest opus Lichgestalt (Luminous Figure) is a return to the mid-90s period of their work, with the guitars reclaiming their rightful spot for a metal album. As I said before, the uncanny talent of merging classical music with metal-based instruments is only matched by another ‘luminous figure’ of the metal world, meaning a certain gentleman a.k.a. Christofer “Mega-Therion” Johnsson. This time, the grandeur of the orchestration reaches new heights, with another full symphonic orchestra being present on the album, together with operatic choir and classic instruments intermezzos (mostly extended strings parts). The incredible atmosphere is also underlined by Anne Nurmi’s honey-like dreamy vocals and her excellent keyboard skills, wrapping the orchestration in a melancholic cocoon. As we have been accustomed with the Lacrimosa albums, she also leads one of the songs, the beautifully sad My Last Goodbye. The album is slow paced, with long serene classic parts, like the 11 minute opener Sapphire, that starts classic slow and the builds to a heavy riffed based gothic tune, with good rhythm and Tilo Wolff’s harsh vocals leading. The guitar sound of Bass Jay P (now what kinda name is that?) is present throughout the album (with the exception of the piano-exclusive bonus track), making sure that the metal side of the creation is on par with the multitude of the classic instruments. The uplifting Kelch Der Liebe is a magic tune in the vein of older classic (Deine Nahe) while the title song is one of the best example of power and sophistication. One of the nicest surprises of the album is the colorful and rather playful Letzte Ausfarth: Leben where you can actually hear Tilo smiling throughout the vocal parts.

The closer, the huge 14 and a half minute Hohelied Der Liebe is a typical anthemic Lacrimosa opus, in the vein of Sanctus (from Elodia) or even closer Die Strasse Der Zeit (from Stille). With Bible based lyrics, it’s a fantastic epic tune, with majestic symphonic orchestration, strings leads, slow and heavy with great backgrounds.

I can’t assess the impact of German sung lyrics for the US based listeners. I can accept that this might be a downside when it comes to understanding or relating to the message sent by the music. It is also true that if you read Goethe in original, you will understand him better. What I mean to say is that if you open your mind and your heart, you will me mesmerized with this extraordinary piece of music. Buy or die!
Killing Songs :
every one of them
Ian quoted 91 / 100
Other albums by Lacrimosa that we have reviewed:
Lacrimosa - Revolution reviewed by Alex and quoted 88 / 100
Lacrimosa - Echos reviewed by Alex and quoted 86 / 100
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