L'AME IMMORTELLE

Album: "Als Die Liebe Starb"
Label: Matrix Cube
Style: Industrial/Gothic Rock
Songs: 10

B
 

Reviewed by: Darklight

Hannes Medwenitsch is no longer with Líame Immortelle. He left prior to this CD being recorded. He now has his own solo project called Nature Destroyed. I was rather shocked by the news of him leaving Líame Immortelle as heís been a part of the band since their start. I can only assume that he left because he didnít agree with the direction that both Thomas Rainer and Sonja Kraushofer wanted to take Líame Immortelle in.

When I first listened to this Als Die Liebe Starb CD I was quite surprised by its sound. Itís a big change for Líame Immortelle. Basically, the band uses a lot more real organic instruments now such as guitars, e-bow, live drums, violin and violin cello. Electronic programming and synth melodies are still in the music as well, but theyíre used more as an added layer as opposed to actually making the music like in the past. This definitely adds more of a gothic rock sound to their music now.

I admit that itís strange hearing instruments such as guitars in Líame Immortelleís music. I have four prior full-length releases by them where the music is created almost 100% with electronic programming, sampling and keyboards. But while it does sound odd to hear real instruments in their music now, I must admit that I somewhat like it. The band has always had a classical and gothic sound to their music, so for them to decide to use real instruments isnít really a big surprise. The difference is that the dark EBM sound from their past is somewhat missing now. While thereís still a good helping of electronic programming in this music, itís not included nearly as much as before. This removes the dance edge from their music that was present in a lot of their previous material.

The CD opens with "Februar" which is a dark and haunting somewhat experimental industrial / gothic / metal hybrid song that creeps along eerily at its start with male spoken word done in German. Midway through its playing course the song picks up with chugging guitars, frantic dramatic melodies and Thomasí angry growl. It sounds very much like a Das Ich song due to itís dark dramatic orchestrated sound and vocal style. Itís the strangest track on the CD, but I still like it as an opening song. Track two "Tiefster Winter" sounds like a traditional Líame Immortelle song with energetic rhythms and beats complimented by Sonjaís beautiful singing and Thomasí angry snarl. Track three "Have I Ever" is a melodic mid-tempo gothic rock ballad with enchanting singing by Sonja and a smooth vocal delivery by Thomas. It does have commercial appeal to it, but I still like it a lot. Track four "Letting Go" is a cold and haunting darkwave song with Sonja providing all of the vocals for the song in her beautifully angelic style. Track five "Aus Den Ruinen" starts off melodic and soothing with a darkwave vibe along with Sonjaís mesmerizing voice, and then explodes with energy as heavy guitar and beats kick into overdrive as Thomas shouts with anger. The song goes from melodic to aggressive during its entire playing course making it one of the more exciting songs delivered here. Track six "Certainty" sounds like an 80s gothic song similar to Siouxsie & The Banshees. Sonja sings so differently on this song that I donít even recognize her. While I like the song, itís a little too much of a change for Líame Immortelle to include here. It would have been better suited for a side-project in my opinion. Track seven "Lake Of tears" is another one of my favorite songs here keeping with the traditional Líame Immortelle sound while including just enough of a new edge to allow it to stand out. Itís a mid-tempo song primarily made with electronic programming and synth melodies along with both Sonjaís beautiful singing and Thomasí clear deep voice. Track eight "Betrayal" is a gothic song similar to "Certainty" with a slight 80s sound and Sonja singing unlike her usual style. Again, I like the song, but feel that it would have been better suited for a side-project as it sounds a little too different for Líame Immortelle. Track nine "Im Tod Vereint" is an aggressive industrial/gothic rock song with both Sonja and Thomas singing with anger and power. Itís another song here that I really enjoy due to its energy and passion. Track ten "Disharmony" is an extremely slow song with music primarily created with piano as Sonja sings soothing along with it. While overall I find it to be a little dull, it does work as a closing song.

While I do like this CD, I canít deny the fact that itís also probably my least favorite Líame Immortelle release so far. Every song delivered here is quite good, but thereís just too many that are a departure from the established Líame Immortelle sound. The band might gain some new fans with this album, but I think they might lose some old ones in the process as well. While this recording is very mature, and probably Líame Immortelleís best work from a commercial standpoint, itís also missing that special something that has always made their music so appealing in the past. Basically, the band no longer has an EBM sound to them anymore. Itís been replaced with more of a rock sound. It was their EBM/darkwave sound that drew me to them, and it will be their rock sound that ultimately drives me away from them if they embrace it even more in the future.

If youíre a fan of Líame Immortelle, Iím sure that you will still enjoy this CD as it features a lot of their trademark elements. But also be prepared for a slightly new sound to their music. Thereís definitely more of a rock/metal side to it now. And if you donít like rock elements such as guitars and live drums in the music that you listen to, you might want to stay away from this CD.

 

Album: "Dann Habe Ich Umsonst Gelebt"
Label: Matrix Cube (2001)
Style: Dark EBM
Songs: 13

A

Reviewed by: Darklight

L'ame Immortelle's previous release ďWenn Der Letzte Schatten FalltĒ was a materpiece. So I expected great things from this follow-up as well. I am happy to report that the band has once again delivered an outstanding release of power, passion, emotion and beauty.

No band, in my opinion, combines dark and dramatic orchestrated synthscapes with energized electronic sounds, rhythms and beats with male and female vocals better than Líame Immortelle.

This release blends all the styles from their previous albums into one to create a varied collection of various moods and feelings. This CD offers haunting instrumentals, dark electro-pop and clubfloor EBM. The vocals switch between Sonjaís beautiful delivery and Thomasí angry yelling. While the previous Líame Immortele release focused more on melodic songs with Sonjaís singing, this album has a lot more aggressive songs on it with Thomas singing on almost each one. While there are a couple of occasions when things are rather mellow and passionate, especially with the instrumentals, the majority of this release could work out on the clubfloor.

While this isnít the bandís most mature release--that award still goes to ďWenn Der Letzte Schatten FalltĒ--this is the bandís most varied album yet featuring a little bit of everything from their past and present sound. As usual, the band blends beautiful enchanting soundscapes with modern hard driving electronic programming and beats with angelic female singing and angry male snarling. Everything that is expected from this act is included here, and done extremely well.

Surprisingly, Sonja sings with a little more energy than usual on a lot of the tracks here in order to keep up with their fast pace. She pulls it off well and proves once again that she has a unique voice.

This is another quality release from Líame Immortelle that blends everything theyíre famous for. I have not been disappointed with one of their releases yet, and I hope I never will be.

 

Album: "Wenn Der Letzte Schatten Fallt"
Label: Matrix Cube (2000)
Style: Dark EBM
Songs: 10

A

Reviewed by: Darklight

I was impressed with Líame Immortelleís previous release ď...In Einer Zukunft Aus Tranen Und StahlĒ, and am even more impressed with this follow-up. Right from the beginning intro instrumental I could tell that the band had matured and polished their sound more. Track two ďGefallenĒ just proved this even more. Wow! What a track! This puppy is emotional with extremely energetic electro rhythms and beats over haunting synths while Sonja sings beautifully and Thomas grunts with anger. What a great way to start things off. Track three ďChangesĒ is a dark electro-pop song with Thomas singing clearly with harmony. This goes to prove that heís indeed a great singer that can do more than just release distorted rage.

This album never stops delivering some of the most amazing songs Iíve ever had the pleasure of hearing before. Sonja sings beautifully on track four ďAnother DayĒ which is a dark cold haunting enchanting song that is overflowing with quality.

This album combines a dramatic orchestrated classical sound with a modern technological EBM sound that mixes melody with floor filling beats. The emotions released throughout are simply unbelievable literally giving me chills. This is passionate and powerful music that reminds me why I am so drawn to this genre.

This album does an excellent job of offering a wide variety of different moods and feelings. Some tracks are slower and more melodic with Sonja doing all of the vocal work, while others are more energetic with a combination of both male and female vocals. Overall, this is a very mature release with a lot of chilling melodies. Dark EBM and darkwave music enthusiasts canít miss this.

 

Album:"...In Einer Zukunft Aus Tranen Und Stahl"
Label: Matrix Cube (1998)
Style: Dark Electro-industrial
Songs: 12

B

Reviewed by: Darklight

This is the second release by Líame Immortelle, and itís quite similar to their 1997 debut ďLieder Die Wie Wunden BlutenĒ. So itís safe to say that if you liked their first CD, you will like this one as well for all of the same reasons.

I do like this release a little more myself as itís overall a tighter more focused release with greater polish and a current sound. The music sounds fuller here with thicker electronic layering and texturing. The songs are a bit more clubfloor friendly as well. But this is still Líame Immortelle, and all of their trademark elements are here such as dark haunting orchestrations and both angry distorted male snarling and beautiful female singing. As before, the male vocals do dominate. It would have been nice if the female vocals were included on more of the songs as the songs with just male vocals do sound rather typical for this genre of music.

What I like about the songs featured on this album is that they blend a lot of moods and emotions within them. For example: a song might start off soft soothing and romantic, and then transform into an angry and aggressive electro-industrial bomb blast. I really enjoy this sort of diversity in the music that I listen to.

Another plus here is that the male vocals arenít always simply distorted growling. Sometimes they are clean and untreated blending with the seductive female vocals better. Also, there is only one instrumental and no weird experimental tracks like what was delivered on their previous recording.

Basically, this is a natural progression in the bandís sound. While still retaining a lot of the same elements from before, the band does expand and improve their overall sound on this disc.

 

Album: "Lieder, Die Wie Wunden Bluten"
Label: M.O.S. Records (1997)
Style: Dark Electro-industrial
Songs: 13

B

Reviewed by: Darklight

Líame Immortelle is a three member act from Austria that create dark electro-industrial music similar to that of other european acts such as Blutengel, The Dust Of Basement, In Strict Confidence, Leaether Strip and :wumpscut:.

Their songs structures are a combination of haunting orchestrated synth melodies overlaid by electronic sounds, effects, samples, rhythms and beats. The pace of the songs switch between calm and relaxing to fast and furious.

The vocals are primarily angry distorted male growling with the addition of clear angelic female singing from time to time. While there are a couple of songs here that offer the female vocals as the main focus, most of the songs do include the distorted male snarling that is so common for this style of music. Itís the songs that feature both male and female vocals that stand out the most here. The songs that only have male vocals sound rather standard.

There are a few instrumentals here that are quality and add variety to the overall CD. The only track I dislike is the title track ďLieder, Die Wie Wunden BlutenĒ. Itís an extremely slow dark ambient experimental song with spoken word. While itís artistic and interesting, it just doesnít fit on the album as it ends up slowing down the pace and flow of the overall disc too much.

Since this is Líame Immortelleís first release, and it came out back in 1997, it does sound a bit dated by todayís electro-industrial/dark EBM standards. So I would only recommend this if you have already discovered their newer material and like it enough to want more music from them.