And not so long ago, at the beginning of the year, the 14th full-length album of the band called "In Tiefem Fall" saw the light. Of course, I couldn’t ignore this release, but I didn’t expect anything special from it because the "Angst" single didn’t inspire me with any particular thrill, and in principle I didn’t observe the prerequisites for any bright changes, but Thomas and Sonja managed to pleasantly surprise me this time.
The album is subtitled as "Die Reise in Seelische Untiefen mit L'ame Immortelle" ("Journey to the depths of the soul with L'ame Immortelle") what hints at some kind of conceptual work. But, I think, here the situation is about the same as with the style of the artwork of the record. This is the kind of art that everyone can interpret in their own way as the songs on the album are not lyrically united by any common story line and they are quite diverse stylistically which, of course, we will talk about later.
The album opens with a soft, delicate ballad called "Still" which reveals Sonja's unique and memorable vocals in their own way. Ascetic in terms of arrangement, the song highlights precisely the vocal line, the development of which is followed by the instrumental part, filling the canvas of the composition with new colors. The next track called "Der Fluch" also starts quite softly, but this softness is deceptive. Very soon we hear Thomas's distorted vocals with overdriven guitars and a more aggressive drum beat in the background. At the same time, the track remains very melodic, without moving to the field of Nachtmahr's pressure. This is one of the most successful tracks of the album that reminded me of L'ame Immortelle which seemed to have long gone. But the next track called "Catch My Fall" offers the listener natural Future Pop with clean vocals of Thomas as the only performer. A good song which, although it doesn’t quite fit into the concept of L’ame Immortelle, would look even more out of place in Nachtmahr, so I completely understand the decision to record this track within the framework of L’ame. Next comes the composition called "Angst", already well known to us thanks to the single and video. And here we hear quite a typical ballad by L’ame Immortelle. Slightly Synth-Gothic, a little Synth-Pop, it sounds corny and sterile nice. L'ame Immortelle always had such songs on their albums and it is quite logical that something similar should have appeared on this record.
In contrast to the pop arrangement "Angst" is perceived as minimalistic, nearly ambient. Of course, this is not some loud hit, but a very atmospheric and thoughtful track. Compositionally and in its mood it can be compared with "Still" which is the album opener. But ballads are, of course, good and beautiful, especially since L'ame Immortelle succeeds in making them more often, but the next track called "Asche" does not let the record lose its dynamics. Yes, even outside the context of the album, I would call this track a generic one, but here it is in its place, and because of this it sounds much more advantageous. Moreover, perhaps my favorite track on the album called "Dem Abgrund entgegen" follows it. It has such a great internal dramaturgy that a separate review can be written only about it. This is a cool work in itself: very musical, with interesting transitions, emotionally sharp, forcing you to empathize. Moreover, in order to feel all this, it is not even necessary to know what the song is about or understand the lyrics; the language of music is universal and "Dem Abgrund entgegen" confirms this. Next up is another dance Future Pop track called "Castaway", this time with Sonja's vocals. And here I have to say that if I have to choose between the clean vocals of Thomas and Sonja, I will give my preference to Sonya. She has amazing vocals, but the song leaves the feeling that this is not the original track, but its remixed version, though the remix is good. Then the album, without deviating from its concept, continues to alternate more driving things with lyrical ones. Although, everything is quite relative, usually even driving songs by L'ame Immortelle are quite lyrical. Anyway, the track called "Said and Done" performed in the duet became, perhaps, the weakest one on the record for me. The same cannot be said about the final ballad called "Healer", which, by the way, was also released as an EP. This track seems very cinematic to me, and in general I see it as the perfect ending for this record.
Thomas pleasantly surprised me last year with the powerful release from Nachtmahr, and here is another success, at least in my eyes. Perhaps the lack of a tight tour schedule in recent years has affected a more scrupulous approach to new material, or maybe the stars just got up like that. But Thomas has released one of the best and most coherent L'ame Immortele albums of the last decade. As for the album ranking, I will rank it 8 out of 10, but this is a very strong 8, I would even say one with a plus.