Lake Of Tears, the so aptly named Swedish rockers are back with their latest doom/gothic rock flavoured slab of pure genius. This band does dark, distressed and portentous rock like no one else and the latest album, the rather wonderfully titled Ominous, comes complete with its own atmosphere of foreboding that is pregnant with menace and dark longing. Doom and Gothic rock is simply delicious in its dark agony and the names of the leading bands send a shiver down your spine with Lake Of Tears being a band that truly belongs in the list of the monolithic titans like Fields Of The Nephilim, Sisters Of Mercy, Bauhaus, The Mission and The Cure and this latest masterpiece reinforces the sheer genius of the band.
Unbelievably, it is 10 years since the release of Illwill yet the time has passed in a heartbeat but for Lake Of Tears it is probably feels more like a lifetime. It seems that Daniel Brennare, the beating heart of Lake Of Tears if you will, was battling with a diagnosis of chronic Leukaemia around that time which obviously affected his outlook on life, thought process and approach to music. This battle has obviously affected the plans of the band hence the long wait for the new album and we now find that much of the heaviness seen on Illwill has gone, to be replaced with brooding menace and a melancholy that is thrilling with longing, desire and passion.
There is no mention of any of the band other than guitarist and singer Brennare so it looks like he is now the band and has produced all of the work on his own which, if he has, is a remarkable feat. Perhaps, it is Brennare’s current state of mind but the album is bleak and appears to see him pondering on the fate of the world and our place in the Universe but despite the darkness and despair it is still an achingly beautiful work of art. Very much understated, the vocals are delivered in an almost reverential whisper that seems to draw you into Brennare’s world and it is almost as he is communicating with you alone.
There is a dark, almost techno backbeat that gives the music some sort of forced jollity that is at odds with the severe music played over it and then you get moments of wonderful sweetness and clarity when strings kick in particularly some rather exquisite violin. There is a fragility to the work and if you have heard some of the austerity of the last albums of Johnny Cash you will most assuredly see an affinity between the two artists. Daniel Brennare sees a dark world but it is still one that you want to live in especially when we are allowed to see deep in to the soul of a tortured but genius artist. The art work is terrifying and, perhaps, even a vision into some kind of personal hell which totally reinforces the invigorating music of the album and you just know that music this special simply does not come around too often.
Profound and moving, listen to Cosmic Sailor and revel in the sheer compelling beauty as Brennare bears his soul for your inspection. Ominous is a deep and profound work of gothic/doom rock from an artist with an aura that both delights and terrifies and is as good as anything that Brennare or Lake Of Tears has ever produced.
Ominous track list
- At The Destination (4:14)
- In Wait And In Worries (6:47)
- Lost In A Moment (5:59)
- Ominous One (2:58)
- Ominous Too (4:31)
- One Without Dreams (5:13)
- The End Of This World (3:54)
- Cosmic Sailor (7:18)
- In Gloom (3:33)