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Lazy Aggression - 75%

OzzyApu, May 23rd, 2009

I went in expecting some Cathedral or even a skewed October Tide, but instead I got a groovy version of old Anathema. Brennare isn’t that great of a vocalist, and going in I was hoping he wouldn’t be the ultimate killer. He isn’t terrible as I thought like some other second tier death / doom vocalists, but he’s lazy as hell. His growls would be awesome if he was precise and put some effort into them, but it’s like he's growling / talking hoarsely. He isn’t horrible, but if he actually growled instead of did a lazy clean vocal / talking monotonously, then this would be closer to some jazzy variant of death / doom-era Paradise Lost.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Lake Of Tears ventured more into progressive / gothic metal later in their career, but instrumentally this is purely doom. The bass is a jackhammer following the guitars, which themselves are thunderbolts chugging and battering along with predominantly melodic riffs. I get this non-cheesy renaissance vibe when hearing passed the vocals, and keyboard use is generally left alone aside from some atmospheric support. Shorter songs like these keep the album from sounding too drawn out, thus retaining freshness and being easier to listen to than most while still remaining doomy at heart – wise choice.

The bass / guitar partnership is kind of like Desultory (Swe), even though the bass doesn’t exactly standout as much here. The clear melodies and general flow follow extremely well just like Desultory, particularly Bitterness, so if you want a doomy version of that then here you go. Under them is the drumming, which is steady as it follows the general riffs and rhythms. Double bass isn’t used too often but the sound is crisp and the thump is cozy on the ears. It fits better than the vocals, that’s for sure, and the snare really never gets annoying. As for solos… well, sometimes they’re melodious and atmospheric like on “Under The Crescent” and “As Daylight Yields” or they could be boring like on some of the others.

It’s weird how this album is pretty damn good, but at the same time it’s mixed. It’s more on the enjoyable side, but even the little things like the vocals, which aren’t even bad, are like an itch. Go check this out though, as you’ll still find something to love. As for an introduction, it’s also a splendid place to start, since you aren’t bombarded by any experimentation that could mean life or death with a band.