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Wagner, Eric: In The Lonely Light Of Mourning

Metal singer Eric Wagner was perhaps best known for his work in the doom metal band Trouble which he formed in 1979. He left the band for the last time in 2008 and went on to form Lid, Blackfinger, and The Skull. In 2021 he finished recording his first solo album titled In The lonely Light Of Mourning, released on March 4, 2022, and playing with him on the album are former bandmates Chuck Robinson (guitars), David Snyder (drums, guitars), Sean McAllister (bass), and Ron Holzner (bass). Other musicians include Lothar Keller (solo guitar), Timm Reeves (bass), Brian Gaona (cello), Doug Hakes (solo guitar), Matt Cross (bass), and Victor Griffin (solo guitar).

Could the album title be any more ironic as Wagner passed away before its posthumous release? Listening to albums where the artist has passed is always very difficult for me and quite sad. A case in point is David Bowie’s Blackstar which I have not yet listened to.

Back to In The Lonely Light Of Mourning. It is an excellent doom album and that should come as no surprise to any familiar with Wagner’s career. The disc begins with “Rest In Place” and its disparate guitar lines and metallic edged doom metal riffs. The song’s deep groove, heavy sustained riffs, tempo changes, and Wagner’s thoughtful vocals makes this a stellar first track. And how can you not be moved when Wagner so eloquently sings,

“It’s been a long lonely winter
At times I thought my spirit broken
Free your mind be still and listen
Slowly the door begins to open
To a place where I am not alone
A place where I will feel at home
Breath of wind here at the end
We’ve come full circle my friend”

“Maybe Tomorrow” hits hard right out of the gate but also incorporates more introspective moments before ending with pure doom metal. On “Isolation” the hard rock guitar riff and chorus held me in rapt attention and with “If You Lost It All”, a low toned cello reaches into the depths of despair and perfectly melds with Wagner’s artful and pleading prose,

“If you lost it all
Would it be more than you could bare
So many chances I have had
To lesson my despair
In my time of dying
Would the pain of being apart
Live forever within
My broken heart”

Wow, how telling, prophetic and hard hitting can a lyric be? Wagner had such a finesse with words and melody. And that cello makes for an absolutely touching lament, reaching the core of your soul. Stunning stuff. The slow doom of “Strain Theory” with one of the best slow burning guitar solos on the disc courtesy of Doug Hakes, the catchy groove heavy “Walk With Me To The Sun” where Victor Griffin lays down a superb guitar solo, unhurried like a river forging a canyon, and the album ending “Wish You Well”, a lovely and touching ballad, are all great tracks.

Nothing else needs to be said. A 4.5 star effort and an outstanding way to say goodbye to his fans, In The Lonely Light of Mourning is must hear material.

A Cruz Del Sur Music release.

Track Listing:
1. Rest In Place
2. Maybe Tomorrow
3. Isolation
4. If You Lost It All
5. Strain Theory
6. Walk With Me To The Sun
7. In The Lonely Light Of Mourning
8. Wish You Well

Added: April 23rd 2023
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist @ Bandcamp
Hits: 576
Language: english

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