This is a fabulous death metal album. The music contains loads of blast beats and guttural vocals, but it also contains loads of melody, tempo changes, and technical prowess. Even the cover art is outstanding, being painted by Troy Dunmire who has done work for other death metal bands including Mortification and Metanoia. This disc was produced by Jeff Scheetz, who also played much of the outstanding lead work. I had the opportunity to meet these guys at the Texas Rockfest in 1997. Very cool guys, I should have had them sign my disc. Argh!
1. "Through the Reflection"
Mexico's Lament return with their second release. Lament have streamlined down to a three piece without vocalist Marco Perez. Drummer Abel Gomez picks up the lead vocals, which should make for interesting live shows, without a front man. This album continues in the same melodic death metal mode as "Tears of a Leper" only this time around, the band bring in some of their native Mexican influences into the music. This gives the band some uniqueness. However, one of the biggest difference from the band's debut is the production. The drum sound is far superior to the band's debut. Also, the bass guitar is featured far more prominently in the mix and is slightly in front of the guitars, something that is pretty rare for death metal. Actually, the bass tends to hold up the melody in many songs as it weaves it's way through subdued distorted guitar rhythms and some very good drum work. Frankly, I have a hard time labeling this album death metal as the music is melodic, nearly melancholy at times, and there isn't much speed, blast beats or even deep growls. Abel Gomez's vocals are heavy, but he tends to sing in a more hardcore, shout style. Personally, I think the music here would be better described as melodic, progressive heavy metal.
The original release Of "Through the Reflection" was on Finnish label Little Rose Productions, had a very limited run and had been out of print for almost a decade before Bombworks re-released the album with four bonus tracks. The bonus tracks are taken from the band 1995 demo tape, "El Valle De La Decisión" when they were still called Beheaded. These four demo tracks are raw, aggressive, death metal with deep, gutteral growls and stand out in stark contrast to the album tracks.. Unfortunately the production on these songs are pretty poor. The re-release features new cover art that is dark and fitting of the music. However, the overall layout of the re-release is pretty poor. The small type on the 6-panel digi is nearly unreadable. Also, I am not a big fan of the new, cheap, eco-friendly, "green" packaging that is becoming the new industry standard. These new digi-packs do not have a tray insert whatsoever, but rather a little rubber stopper to hold the CD. Personally, I'd much rather have the regular jewel case releases or the old digi-packs with the tray insert glued in.
Lament - Breathless (Kingdom Records) 2002
1. "The Sadness of
Your Steps" (3:51)
Abel Gomez is a master at creating music that is heavy, melodic and brutal all at the same time. "Breathless" is all of these things. As with past discs, "Breathless" is dynamic and full of energy. Musically, "Breathless" doesn't stray far from the first two CDs. The big difference is in the vocals, which are all sung without the death growls or thrash yells. Another slight difference is that some of Abel's Mexican heritage shows in some of the songs. There is even a song sung completely in Spanish this time around. While I welcome the change in vocal style, it seems that Abel is not quite comfortable singing this way yet. At times he sounds great, while at others he seems to be holding back a bit. Still, I much prefer the clean vocals to the cookie cutter death growls of the past. I actually think it might have been cool had he mixed it up a bit and did a little bit of both. I always enjoy the variety in vocals and think it adds to the dynamic songwriting. Perhaps one of my favorite tracks on this disc has no vocals at all. "Ocean of Feelings" is a fairly lengthy instrumental but never gets boring. The lyrics are another quality that attracts me to this band, as Lament are unashamedly a Christian band, however, their lyrics are personal and thought provoking, rather than arrogant or preachy.
1. "Comienza el Amanecer"
It's been several years since we've heard anything from Mexico's melodic death metal band Lament. "14 Years Rocking the World" is the band's first release since 2002. However, it is not a new release, but rather a retrospective collection that also includes three new songs, with the promise of a new CD in the future. The new material is much like what you would expect from this band, melodic heavy metal with gutteral, growled vocals. All three new songs are mid-paced and not overly heavy, but are bursting with energy and not boring in the least. The band has always made use of mixing together the heavy, distorted guitars with plenty of clean guitar sounds, and that is also the case with the three new songs presented here. Two of the three songs are sung in Spanish this time around. The remaining nine tracks are taken from the band's past catalog and are in chronological order. These songs offer a good overview of the band's past. You can really hear the growth in this band from album to album. Unfortunately the production from album to album is different, making the overall listening experience here a little unever, although the mastering is well done and none of the tracks seem to be louder than any others. I thought it was very cool that the band decided to include their instrumental "Ocean of Feelings".
Lament - Renaissance (independent) 2009