Lake Of Blood play a style of black metal you’d probably more than likely associate with the lore filled Cascadian Mountains. Yet here’s a band that hail from southern California, producing this kind of metal; full of atmosphere, full of passion for nature and the preservation of the world we live in. Full of aggression.
They’re another band I stumbled upon due to the wide ranging influence of Panopticon, having put out a split with them in 2009. I didn’t actually hear that split until late last year, and then I discovered they were about to release their first length. And I was excited.
2. Destroyer Of Vices
This may be a two track album, with a thirty minute or so running time, but it takes you in so many different directions that multiple listens are key. The first track introduces itself with the sounds of waves crashing against the shore. Very fitting considering the album title. I guess you could say this is an album concerned with how the modern world affects the ancient world upon which it is it built. There’s a fairly substantial scene in USBM that is particularly invested in how we, as people, have had a negative effect on our planet. And I believe Lake Of Blood are an important part of that scene.
This is a band that have certainly thought about the ideas and philosophy behind their music, they are clearly completely immersed in the sounds they create. This first track is a seventeen minute behemoth that never fails to hold your attention; the pulsating drums, incredibly intricate guitar work and vocals dredged from the bowels of despair capture you from the first second they are heard. You want to know where this story is going to end and you absolutely let the music envelop you.
Initially, the music is fairly halting. The guitar not quite sure where it’s going, the vocal seemingly restrained. After four minutes, the pure unrelenting feeling pours out out of this band. The drum sound in As Time And Tide Erodes Stone is just incredible. A particular highlight smashing you in the face around the five and a half minute mark. It’s all you can do not to air-drum furiously on the tube at 6am (just me then ?). The guitar is an immense wall of sound, and there’s some beautiful passages to be found in this track if you spend some much deserved time with it.The vocals, or should I say roars, are full of sheer unconditional devotion to the subject matter. Lake Of Blood care about this, and they want you to know.
Destroyer Of Vices arrives to a hail of shuddering guitar, and extremely fast and precise drum lines. Although it clocks in at fifteen minutes, and at times is darn overwhelming, it’s always offering something new. There’s sudden changes in tempo, keeping you on your proverbial toes. You don’t know what might happen next, and that’s the beauty of this record. Because who wants to listen to something predictable ? Not me, that’s for sure !
As Time And Tide Erodes Stone closes with the same sounds used to open the record, the slow lapping of waves against cliffs. I recommend physically owning this album based on the excellent artwork contributed by Austin Lunn of Panopticon and Seidr. It’s not often that you can say that the cover of a record perfectly compliments and describes the aural experience you’ll find within. The black and grey artwork comprising of a crumbling metropolis, smoke billowing above; the cliff on which it sits disintegrating into the sea below. Like I said. It’s perfect.
This is an album, that whilst wearing it’s influences in plain sight, holds many intricacies and mysteries inside. Lake Of Blood have truly created something of wonder here, a debut so weighty in it’s ideals that the only sensible thing to do after hearing it, is to hear it again.
Here’s a video of Lake Of Blood playing a song in front of real life people.
Here’s Destroyer Of Vices for your listening pleasure.
Please buy things from this band at this web address.