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Lake Of Tears: Ominous

After a near ten year wait Lake Of Tears return with something utterly Ominous, for this is a statement album and one that has a sound and atmosphere so big that it nearly blots out the sun - which is fitting given the dark, near depressive tones it contains. Those sentiments are, however, completely understandable, everything from the mood, music, artwork and lyrics on Ominous dealing with the leukaemia diagnosis the band’s seemingly sole remaining member received some years ago. Yes, those set of events have taken a physical tole on vocalist/guitarist Daniel Brennare but here he also deals with the mental battles he has had to face and with the lyrics structured in such a way that this is a first person journey, so they too tell the tale of a ‘cosmonaut’ and the monsters he must confront. It’s heady as hell and yet perfectly poised as most of the different aspects - doom, metal, prog, space-rock and much more - that this band has worked its way through over the years slowly unravels in the most engagingly stand-offish fashion.

From the opening chug-ernaut of the almost classic Monster Magnet churn of “At The Destination” to the cymbal smashes, anguished vocals and tom runs of “Lost In A Moment”, what stands proudest is this album’s honesty and integrity. The production is incredibly nuanced, with the heaviest bone crushing smashes of guitars having a lightness of touch that allows layered vocals to add the merest hints of flecked grey to the doom driven black. Then come the piercing strings and piano of “Ominous Too” to add yet more melancholy on an album that I actually find strangely uplifting. The bare vocals from Brennare are absolutely perfect for this fare, his near spoken rasp impactful in a way that a more ‘perfect’ singer could never quite be in these surrounds.

A more traditional slow grind shifts through the ever so slow gears on “One Without Dreams”, where the emotions are raw and cut deep, before “Cosmic Sailor” refuses to move proceedings beyond a crawl that somehow offers a host of ways into its gloomy heart. Something which is fitting, given that its concluding slow hum (on the CD version) eventually gives way to the equally enigmatic bonus track “In Gloom”, which does, rather surprisingly, offer some welcome light to end the journey on and I must admit that I couldn’t imagine Ominous without that slightly more upbeat outro.

Aided by Vesa Kenttäkumpu (Evocation, Cemetery 1213) who provides a smattering of guitar and bass, and Christian Silver (Cemetery 1213) on drums, what Daniel Brennare has created here is as honest and heartfelt an album as you could ever hope to hear. That he does so with a collection as superbly paced and crafted as this, is truly to his credit.


Track Listing
1. At The Destination
2. In Wait And In Worries
3. Lost In A Moment
4. Ominous One
5. Ominous Too
6. One Without Dreams
7. The End Of This World
8. Cosmic Sailor
9. In Gloom [bonus]

Added: August 6th 2021
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Ominous @ AFM Records
Hits: 334
Language: english

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