Former Gorefest drummer Ed Warby is one of the most celebrated metal musicians of the Netherlands. He is featured on many Ayreon and Star One albums. Nowadays he keeps himself busy with Hail Of Bullets and The 11th Hour, his own doom metal project/band. “Lacrima Mortis” is the name of his latest offering, so let’s see what Mr Warby has in store for us…
The 11th Hour is a solo project in the truest meaning of the word. Ed Warby wrote all the music and played all the instruments used on “Lacrima Mortis”. He is also responsible for all the clean vocal parts. Pim Blankenstein of Rotterdam-based Officium Triste provided all the growls and grunts. Musically, it’s all about classic doom metal in the best Solitude Aerturnus, Paradise Lost and Candlemass traditions. Despite this, The 11th Hour does have a face of its own. This is quite a feat in itself these days.
The backbone of this album is formed by the intelligently crafted and lushly arranged compositions, like “We Die All Alone”, “Rain On Me”, “The Death Of Life” and “Reunion Ilusion”. This combined with a stark atmosphere and a deadly array of larger-than-life guitar riffs make “Lacrima Mortis” a standout release in its field. The grunts by Blankenstein are spot on, however the clean vocals by Warby may not be to everyone’s taste. He doesn’t possess the strongest vocal pipes in the business, but he does have a style of his own and within his vocal limitations he does a satisfactory job. He even reminds me of Devon Graves of Dead Soul Tribe/Psychotic Waltz fame.
“Lacrima Mortis” benefits greatly from the heavy and modern production. The emphasis is clearly on the guitars, which gives the album lots of additional edge and aggression.
Ed Warby once again proves his musical versatility with this album. He doesn’t reinvent the proverbial doom metal wheel on “Lacrima Mortis”, but within the musical boundaries of the genre this is a very fine and memorable release indeed. If the quality of this album is a sign of things to come in 2012, then we’re in for a quite a ride!