With a new album and a tantalising promotional video in tow, German gloomsters Lacrimas Profundere return to the UK as part of their CD release tour. It's a low key affair, so low key in fact that the Underworld is unfortunately nowhere near full. You can argue the fact that it is Sunday night, but the truth is that this show hasn't really garnered the attention it deserves. With a history stretching back to their 1993 death-doom roots, the band has evolved alongside bands like The 69 Eyes and Tiamat into a successful brand of gothic metal with a strong following throughout Europe.
Walking into the always dark cellar venue it comes as a pleasant surprise that the so far unadvertised support slot is to be filled by UK gothic-tinged metalers Awake By Design. The proggy midlanders have provided support to the likes of My Dying Bride, Leaves' Eyes and Anathema in the past, but went quiet after an extensive line-up change. Yet with a follow-up to 2009's 'Sentiment' on the horizon this year in the form of 'Carve The Sun', the band have plenty to bring to the crowd.
The band walk onto the stage, plug in and start playing without pomp and circumstance, and those present immediately take notice. Venturing from the merchandise stalls and bar to the sunken pit in front of the stage, the audience quickly gets into the bands energetic performance. The band's tight performance and camaraderie on stage shows how well they have gelled. By the time it comes to drop some new songs into the set it is beyond any doubt that the band have the potential to really make a name for themselves if they push the next album hard enough.
By the time the night's headliners Lacrimas Profundere take to the stage, the Underworld has filled to a slightly more respectably capacity. Unfortunately though, the set is plagued by faulty in-ear monitors and the vocals often becoming inaudible. Yet the band charge through their set with songs like 'My Velvet Little Darkness', 'My Mescaline', 'The Letter' and 'Ave End' meeting with a rapturous reaction from the audience. While the band's newest cuts from the album 'Antiadore' meld with their set perfectly. The title track as well as songs such as 'My Release In Pain' and 'A Sigh' tie together 20 years of the bands output quite nicely building on their already formidable repertoire.
Despite the technical issues throughout their set and the lacklustre attendance the band puts on a strong performance befitting their now veteran status. And with what is shaping up to be the band's strongest album since 2006's 'Filthy Notes For Frozen Hearts', hopefully the band's next appearance on these shores will fell like more of an event.