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Lake Of Tears - Ominous (2021) - Review

Band: Lake Of Tears
Album title: Ominous
Release date: 19 February 2021
Label: AFM Records
Genre: Dark Rock/Doom Metal/Progressive Rock

01. At The Destination
02. In Wait And In Worries
03. Lost In A Moment
04. Ominous One
05. Ominous Too
06. One Without Dreams
07. The End Of This World
08. Cosmic Sailor
09. In Gloom

Back in the 90s and in the first decade of the new millennium, the Swedish band Lake Of Tears played a big role in the development of the dark/gothic rock/metal genre, and I doubt that there's anybody who doesn't know their magnificent albums like Headstones (1995), A Crimson Cosmos (1997) or Moons And Mushrooms (2007) if I mention just three their most significant releases. But there's much more great music that Lake Of Tears released back then, and it's nothing strange that this band is considered by many as one of the greatest. Nevertheless, their previous studio album, Illwill (2011), left us with a bitter aftertaste, because of its too much mellow and soulless approach, while experimenting with elements that didn't suit them well (like speed metal for example). Then it seemed that the band went into oblivion, they however returned in 2014 with a live album, By The Black Sea, and after that - silence.

After almost a decade, the day has come for a new proper studio album of Lake Of Tears, the ninth full-length named Ominous. I guess that Lake Of Tears needs now to be considered as a one-man-band since the only remaining member is Daniel Brennare. Ominous is a new masterpiece by Lake Of Tears, and even if I had some doubts after hearing the danceable dark rock single "At The Destination", it all vanished when I heard the rest, and then also this song made much more sense. Ominous is an album that must be heard in its entirety, with no hits or standouts, is a soothing soundtrack for long and cold winter nights. The music in Ominous embodies many elements from the rich Lake Of Tears' past, yet there are new things to be experienced. Let it be for the specific take on the 70s psychedelic rock, 80s/90s goth, doom metal, classical music, ambient or modern dark electronic sounds, all the time filled with a lot of sweet melancholia.

Ominous is without a doubt the darkest and the most depressive album ever done by Lake Of Tears, but at its very core, it's warm. Maybe this is because of Brennare's warm, fragile and somehow calming but strong and deep voice that feels like a breeze of warm air in these cold-hearted soundscapes. The atmosphere is gloomy and dense, the songs are vibrant with sometimes suspenseful pathos, and one of the finest examples is the epic "In Wait And In Worries". It sucks you into the turmoil of darkness when those hypnotizing thumping drums and doomed guitars placed within the grim yet atmospheric blackness of "Lost In A Moment" take place and then fill the chalice of doom with divine blood in the luxuriant dark rider "Ominous One". Lake Of Tears used many classical strings, piano, cello, all perfectly blended into this music rooted in illness to make the atmosphere even more haunting and audacious; "Ominous Too" and the balladic "In Gloom" are fine examples of that.

This time it's difficult to talk about any resemblances with other bands but I can mention that the entire legacy of dark music is present here, and I mean everything from David Bowie to Black Sabbath, from Pink Floyd to Fields Of The Nephilim, and from Dead Can Dance to Bathory. Ominous has a dramatic mood, and kind of a cinematic feel that is best heard in another song of epic proportions, "Cosmic Sailor", and in its suffocating yet powerful forerunner "The End Of This World". The moments from days of grey, burdensome and depression, are dissected and then reassembled into a dark sonic story. Interwoven in mesmerizing sound, word and vision, with thought out precision.

Ominous is a glorious comeback album for Brennare and his Lake Of Tears. It's a black jewel in the times where most of the modern music has lost its sense of depth, where most of it has become nothing but an instant consumption in the mediocrity of modern-day musical production. Ominous is one of those albums that will not appeal to those who can't feel the shimmering emotion, the sound of darkness and misery. It's an album that needs your devotion, and your desperate mind needs a counterweight like this. Simply said, if you came here and you are reading this, then it's time for you to get comfortable, turn the lights out, put on your headphones and go on a journey with Lake Of Tears' Ominous.

The review was written by Tomaz
Rating: 9/10