Lake of Tears - Ominous
AFM Records
Dark Rock
9 songs (44'59")
Release year: 2021
Lake of Tears, AFM Records
Reviewed by Alex

This review of Lake of Tears latest Ominous will be even harder to write than the previous for Illwill. If you search the pages of MetalReviews you can see that the music of Lake of Tears means a lot to me personally. I believe I expressed the admiration for this band in every review I have written for MetalReviews and wish I could do it even more in those reviews which have been scooped away from me by other writers. Then in 2011 came Illwill and I was stomped. I obviously didn’t know the background story at the time, and I believe no one did. Daniel Brennare, the mastermind behind Lake of Tears, had been diagnosed and began to go through the treatments for chronic leukaemia. Writing Illwill was a way to deal with that situation from a personal standpoint, and my opinion of the album was absolutely irrelevant. Then came silence, and seeing how Illwill was a departure from everything Lake of Tears did prior to that, I thought the band was put to rest. The shocker came in mid-2020 when Daniel Brennare announced to the world what he had been dealing with. That partially explained Illwill to me (the album I never play), but provided further suspicion I will never hear another Lake of Tears album. I was wrong. Daniel used the decade after Illwill and all of his personal hardships and experiences into the production of Ominous. Without knowing whether Lake of Tears is a band at all at this point, or a personal outlet for Daniel, I am just as split on Ominous as I was on Illwill, but at least I know the personal place of mind from where this music came from.

When I heard the opening track At the Destination I knew I would not have an easy time with this album after At the Destination proceeded in the style of weird cold techno with electronic voices and machine-like rhythms. Violin lead around 3’ was an interesting warmer diversion point, but the single otherwise was strange and distant. I promised myself then to listen to the whole album with an open mind. I have had Ominous on and off for more than a couple of months now and I still didn’t arrive at loving it. With my brain I get the spirit of this album completely. Lonely, isolated, anxious, drifting, as if stuck in endless destination unknown space travel, the album came from the soul of someone dealing with a lot of personal grief. But with my heart I still cannot accept the form, the sounds and many of the songs. Therein comes the split screen of my attitude towards Ominous. Understanding it, especially considering the timing of its creation, yet not loving it, and probably never coming around to doing so in the future.

Some moments of Ominous do sound especially ugly, like the tribal drumming supported discordant Lost in a Moment with its looming mechanical inevitability. Piercing electric sound of The End of this World and its monotonous buildup is another nails on the chalkboard moment. Sure there is the heavy rock and so familiar Brennare’s voice on Ominous One, or combination of strings and piano on Ominous Too which soothes and breathes normalcy. As soon as you start feeling that, however, the sullen trudge to nowhere One Without Dreams takes over, the song where basically nothing happens. Ominous also has a habit of cutting songs in halves. Quiet piano and strings lead in In Wait and in Worries, but morose withdrawnness, which follows, is over the top, just the like the same gloomy nothingness of Cosmic Sailor has interesting shades and glimmers before ending with … just nothingness, period.

Yet in the end, the closer In Gloom, despite its obvious depressed lyrics, is ultramelodic, with cello/viola/violin playing a prominent role, and almost kind of hopeful. Yes, very strangely so.

And here you have it. The band which is on the pedestal in my collection producing a pair of albums, 10 years apart, under the most trying of circumstances, and neither of these albums is something I will be cherishing for a long time. Good luck to Daniel Brennare. I hope the treatment is found that helps him persevere and continue to create.

Killing Songs :
In Wait and in Worries, Ominous Too, In Gloom
Alex quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by Lake of Tears that we have reviewed:
Lake of Tears - By the Black Sea reviewed by Alex and quoted no quote
Lake of Tears - Illwill reviewed by Alex and quoted 69 / 100
Lake of Tears - Forever Autumn reviewed by Khelek and quoted 95 / 100
Lake of Tears - A Crimson Cosmos reviewed by Khelek and quoted 85 / 100
Lake of Tears - Moons and Mushrooms reviewed by Alex and quoted 92 / 100
To see all 9 reviews click here
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