LAMENT - TEARS OF A LEPER (*NEW-CD, 1997, Rowe Productions) death metal
With too many sub-genres inside every sub-genre of metal one usually gets confused by the ‘label’ you can box on an album and with the case of Lament’s ‘Tears of a leper’ this applies perfectly. I explain why: this can be considered by any death metal fan as melodic death metal. This doesn’t go in the vein of that crap from Gottenburg like At the Gates or Dark Tranquility. No, this is latin death metal with a lot (I repeat A LOT) of melodic and acoustic passages courtesy of the producer Jeff Scheetz who is a Santana worshipper. Oh yeah, beware where this album’s orientation is going.
When we talk about brutal death metal it means exactly (although the arguing about brutal can be taken into consideration since death metal was already brutal by nature going back to its roots but that is another discussion) sheer brutality this album is far from that except for one song which is ‘Terminating existence’ and ’A cry of Anguish’, which have some really fast parts but as being brutal I disagree completely. It is enough to download some tunes from Youtube so you can see this is not brutal death metal at all IMHO. We can apply that term to Nile or some other bands which are truly brutal.
In regards to the lyrical content as mentioned already by the other fellow reviewer they are very Christian focused. Some of the verses or choruses are sung in Spanish (Rivers of loneliness) and although some of the songs deal with social issues in general like suicide (Terminating existence) they are very Christian focused. As far as the lyrics concern they are good for me. They might drive away some hard death metal listeners but they don’t bother me at all.
The songs in general, as explained, are very melodic and the riffs are catchy by all means. The vocals are performed in a very low growl, reminiscent perhaps of Crimson Thorn, Mortification back in ‘Scrolls’, Nile. They are not in the screamed or grunted fashion as Benediction, Entombed or Cannibal Corpse. They are very deep with the addition of some clean vocals which sound totally out of place.
The acoustic guitars are not bad but they sound out of place. When you consider Jeff Scheetz producing it I was afraid I was going to get that and they soften the songs a lot not to mention this Santana vibe (yes Santana). This is not bad per se but unfortunately this album suffers of boredom after some time.
In the end this is a good album if you are Christian and if you like melodic death metal with latin influences all over. If you are into Suffocation, Vile or total crushing pounding death metal this will disappoint you completely. As far as I am concerned it is a good effort and different but nothing out of the ordinary or enough to break your neck.
Lament carries a very solid, brutal death metal tone to their music. This wouldn't be strange if it were not for what this band is about. Their lyrics are Christian oriented, in fact I believe all the songs have to do with Christianity. I am pretty aware that this could pose a problem for some metal heads, but then again it is brutal death metal. You can't really understand what he is saying. The lyrical content is very preachy, and the inside cover quotes scripture. Thought you might like to now that first.
I was very skeptical about this album when I found it, but I am glad I gave it a play. Because this album just totally kicks major ass, and here is why. This music by all means is brutal, and mainly because of the vocals. There are two types of vocals on this album. The first kind is the low death metal vocals that are in the style of Chris Barnes. The vocals do get soft on some songs during the melodic parts. An example would be during the first song Sacrifice of Righteousness, in the beginning and through out parts of the song. Most of the soft vocals are sung in Spanish, seeing that the band comes from Mexico.
The guitar parts help make this a bad ass album. The riffs and solos are great, and not what you would usually see in brutal death metal. Chains of Darkness sounds like the typical brutal death metal song, with blast beats and not so technical guitar riffs. This is an exception though, because the riffs and solos throughout the album end up pretty technical. There are a lot of pinch harmonics used in these riffs, which does get kind of annoying, but its still good in the end. Also, there is a lot of emphasis on the bass guitar. A lot of cool bass solos: like in the first song and A Cry of Anguish
Overall it is a pretty bad ass song. If I could choose one song to represent the album it would have to be Legal, which has a nice intro riff and has a couple of Spanish like guitar solos. I would recommend this to every metal head. If you don't believe in what they are saying...well who cares.
1. You can hardly understand the lyrics with his low vocal tone and
2. The music (non-lyric wise) is definitely worth it.