The frenzy and fury of death metal ascension which was gaining popularity in the late 80s forced thousands of young people around the world to form their own bands playing in the extreme metal genre. The boiling wave of death metal covered Sweden completely from Stockholm and Gothenburg to smaller towns all over the country.
The small town of Borås, located in the west of the Kingdom, gave birth to bands like Cemetary, Moribund / Forsaken Grief and Carnal Eruption. The last one was formed in 1991 by Daniel Brennare (vocals, guitars), Mikael Larsson (bass) and Jonas Eriksson (guitars) who soon united with the drummer Johan Oudhuis from Forsaken Grief and formed Lake of Tears in 1992.
The band recorded their first studio demo consisted of three songs in May 1993. The recording titled just “Demo 1 ’93” was copied onto 100 white audio cassettes, some of which were sent to labels and fanzines, and the rest were sold or donated to friends of the musicians.
Cemetary’s frontman Mathias Lodmalm gave one of these audio cassettes to Börje Forsberg, the head of the Black Mark Production. The label’s respond was quick and Lake of Tears signed a contract with Black Mark for the release of five albums at the end of August 1993.
The recording of the debut album “Greater Art” took place in the famous Stockholm Sunlight Studio where the band spent two weeks in the winter of 1993. The studio was well known in metal community because such bands as Amorphis, Cemetary, Dismember, Entombed, Grave and Tiamat recorded their first albums there. It was a perfect recommendation for the young and ambitious band who cherished the urge to express themselves and to find their own individual style. As result, their first effort, “Greater Art” is a poetic combination of raw doom with atavistic elements of death metal, remarkable with Daniel’s hoarse vocals and a dark, sepulchral atmosphere with some romantic touch.
The band enlisted the help of Cemetary leader Mathias Lodmalm and Thomas Skogsberg himself, the owner of Sunlight Sound, who not only produced the album, but also recorded keyboards for some of the songs. “Greater Art” sounds original, but you can hear there the echoes of Cemetary’s “Godless Beauty” and Tiamat’s “Clouds”. It’s not surprising, considering that both albums were released literally a year before Lake of Tears’ debut and bands grew up on the same cultural soil. The resemblance comes down not only to Daniel’s powerful hoarse vocals, it’s also about the “Greater Art” obscure atmosphere and grim mood. Although all eight tracks follow doom metal direction, they don’t belong totally nor to traditional doom metal or to British school of death-doom. Lake of Tears sounded Swedish, but at the same time they were preparing the ground for their own start.
Damn hard and unhurried riffs open “Under the Crescent“, these riffs leave a room for melodic guitar breaks and vintage keyboards which sets the song’s dark and romantic mood. Lake of Tears keeps to the same formula in “Eyes of the Sky”, it’s heavy and powerful, like a punch to the head, the guys didn’t limit themselves cherishing their heartaches and soon they set off on the philosophical pilgrimage “Upon the Highest Mountain” under the auspices of the rude, devoid of any pathos, doom metal. They build up acoustic passage to ethereal realm focusing listeners’ attention on the dizzying views that open from the spurs of the mountain range, and then hard-going riffs start a long climb to the highest mountain. This inner harmony was difficultly gained but easily destroyed under the blows of night demons! “As Daylight Yields” is an uncompromising hit filled with seething energy and grim determination, it bears the last traces of the band’s interest towards death metal but its aggression is held under the strict control. The songs’ lyrics is an important part of the band’s image and an indicator of Daniel’s distinctive poetry: Lake of Tears remain sincere in their melancholy and their tendency to self-contemplation, but they also know how to give a kind of outlet to their evil inside. The Daniel’s demons will appear on the next albums in some atypical way, they are strikingly different from the “masters of hell” presented in the songs of heavier, extreme bands which rule the underground metal scene. Other “Greater Art” tracks are good too but a bit damp and inferior to the first part of the album, except “Evil Inside” which has killing low riffs and bone-chilling ominous chorus. The album didn’t become a cult thing, but many Lake of Tears fans and doom metal heads fondly remember these songs.
It was spring 1995, when Lake of Tears isolated themselves for a few weeks from the outside world in the studio where they worked on recording of a universally recognized masterpiece – “Headstones“. The guys were much more self-confident now, but the help of the studio’s owner Ulf Petterson was invaluable, and he also done the keyboard parts for this album. Lake of Tears was such grateful that Ulf was mentioned in the CD’s booklet as nothing less than “genius”. And truly “Headstones” turned to be not only one of most popular band’s albums and one of iconic releases of the 90s.
Up-tempo beats, tombstone-heavy riffs and Daniel’s charismatic vocals blow up the new album with the very first track “A Foreign Road” which demonstrates the tight bond between “Headstones” and “Greater Art“. The band’s individuality is visible in the symbolic hit “Raven Land”, where gloomy doom metal is decorated with refined and deep melodies, including inauspicious cold acoustic passages. Daniel’s vocal range has expanded, and his parts are more expressive than before, the anguish of the climactic “Sweetwater” is one of most eloquent testimonies here. But before you’ll reach “Sweetwater” you need to face “Dreamdemons“, where Daniel resurrected the images of the ubiquitous night demons, personifications of the night and prime evil. The celebration of bitter sweet melancholy is interrupted by a short instrumental “Life’s But A Dream“, which seems out of place, but serves as a logical introduction to the album’s title track. The clean intro of “Headstones” brings the chill of autumn morning and the tranquility of a silent walk among the tombstones to the bells’ chime from a distant chapel. The main melodic theme, impressive vocals and catchy chorus alongside a weightless, psychedelic guitar solo build a bridge to the next Lake of Tears’ full-length, but we didn’t finish with “Headstones” yet. The hypnotic psychedelic doom piece “Twilight” organically flows into the album’s concept, but it stands apart at the same time thanks to atypical, distorted vocal parts and a cosmic keyboard solo in the finale. Fantastic dreams can’t last forever, and the band smashes them to smithereens with a high tempo rough attack of “Burn Fire Burn“, after which we have to climb once more upon the most picturesque and clouds-covered peaks of the inner realms. “The Path of the Gods (Upon the Highest Mountain, Part 2)” is a sequel of “Greater Art” longest song, and it shows Lake of Tears’ new image blending doom metal with beautiful psychedelic soundscapes. Lake of Tears expressed their creative potential through “Headstones” in the most effective artistic way, and the album became a bold step out from the traditional metal territories into new spaces of heavy psychedelia, fully explored on the next album.
Shortly after release of “Headstones” Lake of Tears went on their first foreign tour – “Life’s But A Dream Tour” – to Poland, and with Edge of Sanity – on tour to Germany in spring 1996. Encouraged by the warm welcome Lake of Tears went on the “Summer Metal Meeting Part II” tour in June 1996 and shared the stage with Savatage, Tiamat, Rage, Crematory, The Gathering and Iced Earth. Jonas Eriksson left the band after these summer shows and Lake of Tears started their work on new material as a trio.
One might think that the 1997 EP “Lady Rosenred” was some kind of a strange experiment, a whim of the band, as all the three songs included in the album “Lady Rosenred”, “Devil’s Diner” and “A Crimson Cosmos” were too unusual. Who would expect this from Lake of Tears after “Headstones”? But these tracks are flesh from flesh of the new full-length album. The choice of these tracks for the EP (as well as the shooting of the video for “Devil’s Diner”) may not seem a better one as Lake of Tears’ third album “A Crimson Cosmos” catches you from the first listening with other songs – “Boogie Bubble”, “Cosmic Weed” or “Four Strings of the Mourning”. However, the truth is that “A Crimson Cosmos” isn’t homogeneous, just as its predecessor and it’s easy to imagine how it was difficult to choose the most characteristic tracks to give a full view of the new material. “A Crimson Cosmos” takes us further from “Greater Art” and even “Headstones” into the psychedelic space of heavy metal rock by the route which was scheduled on the previous album. The changes as such were not cardinal for the metal scene as it those strange times marked by a global evolution of metal bands that established themselves in the first half of the decade. Anathema, Cemetary, Katatonia, Paradise Lost, Tiamat and even Samael, Septic Flesh and other extreme fighters of the metal underground have embarked on a path of innovation – often very interesting, but placed far from the material that gained them recognition.
The Lake of Tears’ evolution looks spontaneous, and the first track “Boogie Bubble” holds your attention with that flawless main riff, fantastic guitar work and epic retro keyboards. It’s needed to be said that keyboards were recorded by two guest-musicians – Pelle Hogbring and Ronnie Lahti, who also co-produced album. Also the lead guitar parts for “Boogie Bubble” and several other songs were also performed by the guest – Magnus Sahlgren, known for his work with Tiamat, Dismember and other bands, and his contribution to the creation of “A Crimson Cosmos” deserves special mention. “A Crimson Cosmos” nine tracks fit in 39 minutes, and if some tracks hook you with heaviness, drive and catchy melodies, then “When My Sun Comes Down” grants great epic doom metal riffs decorated with grandiose keyboard lines. “Devil’s Diner” shocks with an extravagant, old-fashioned hard rocking dance tune and quirky, non-committal lyrics. The doom instrumental “To Dies Is to Wake” is good, but some vocal lines would fit its cosmic scale. Regarding the album’s concept – Daniel explored themes of depression, death, loneliness and dark fantasy worlds through his lyrics since “Greater Art” times, sometimes he was flirting with mind-altering substances (“Sweetwater” and “Cosmic Weed“), sometimes it was about evil and its manifestations in this world, although the demons of Daniel at the time of writing “Boogie Bubble” noticeably improved and became almost playful in comparison with their brothers from “As Daylight Yields” or “Dreamdemons“. Then Daniel sings a duet with Quorton’s sister (and the daughter of the owner of Black Mark Production) Jennie Tebler in “Lady Rosenred“; these soft and naive lines about the fairy of his dreams leave a room for “Raistlin and the Rose” which takes us to the fantasy world of “Sagas of the Spear” drama. Daniel’s lyrics haven’t become more complicated, but some of his texts are difficult to interpret (brilliant “The Four Strings of Mourning”). In the end his poetic flair gives rise to interesting images, and they are partially manifested in the original booklet for the album, the design of which was again handled by the talented musician and artist Kristian “Necrolord” Wåhlin.
“A Crimson Cosmos” brought some confusion to both journalists and fans, because this album stylistically belongs to different plains ranging from retro rock and progressive to gothic and doom metal. Many fell in love with this album though they couldn’t classify it properly, but you don’t need to tag the genre if you dig the music, isn’t it? At the same time this mesmerizing material received high marks from critics and becomes the album of the month in the German magazine “Rock Hard”. Television shown interest in Lake of Tears, the film crew of TV channel VIVA spent two days with the musicians in Stockholm, filming the group for a special edition of the Metalla program.
Lake of Tears went on a tour together with the Theater of Tragedy and Heavenwood through several cities in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland in the spring of 1997; the band’s live line-up was replenished by Christian Saarinen (keyboards), who has already taken part in the tours ’95-’96, and Ulrik Lindblom (guitar). They performed for the first time at the “Wacken Open Air Festival” on August 8th, 1997, and they went on a long tour “Out Of The Dark Part IV” through 27 cities in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland in September – October together with Crematory, Therion, Dark and Graveworm.
Lake of Tears’ next album “Forever Autumn” was published by Black Mark in 1999. Although this material indicates a logical continuation of the band’s previous creative ideas, it does not fit into the framework of any genres and does not sound so bright as “A Crimson Cosmos” did. Its colours don’t shine with starry void of psychedelic oceans but covered with fallen leaves and gray sorrows. “Forever Autumn” is straightforward, somewhere even simpler and more structurally clear, but it’s also heartfelt and diverse. Moderately fast and mid-tempo hits (“So Fell Autumn Rain”, “Pagan Wish”, “Come Night I Reign”) alternate with slow sorrowful compositions (“Hold on Tight”, “The Homecoming”, “To Blossom Blue”). There are also peaceful acoustic pastoral “Forever Autumn” and depressive “Demon You / Lily Anne” but whatever song you chose – all of them sound in unison with autumnal rain and first cold winds of September. This time, keyboardist Christian Saarinen was hired as a full-time member, and this move played a role as the keyboards, for example, lead the main melodic line in “Come Night I Reign”, while the guitars are relegated to the background. The lyrics have become more personal, Daniel returned to the themes of loneliness, death and lost love more often than before. At the same time, “Pagan Wish” shakes things up a bit and gives a powerful hard rock drive, vividly reminiscent of “Devil’s Diner”, while “Demon You / Lily Anne” persistently appeals to dark passions, captivating with simple but effective riffs. “Forever Autumn” deepened the lyrical side of Lake of Tears, the band’s musical palette was enriched with cello, flute and accordion, and in the end its frankness and emotional depth resonated with many old and new fans of the band.
Lake of Tears, having released an album that eventually became the group’s bestseller, did not receive any support from Black Mark in organizing a tour, and the guys announced their breakup officially in the early autumn of 1999. To fulfill his label commitments, Daniel, backed by Magnus Sahlgren and Jennie Tebler, returns to XTC Studios to record Lake of Tears’ fifth album – “The Neonai”. The title of the album is a kind of charade, meaning the end of something old and a new beginning at the same time. The album doesn’t promise an easy ride since the band’s main purpose behind this release was to get rid of the contract with the label. But later Daniel admitted that he could not prevaricate while working on the material, so “the inner picture of consciousness” from which the compositions for “The Neonai” were formed is completely real – there’s no false in these songs.
“Return of Ravens”, “The Shadowshires”, “Can Die No More”, “Leave a Room” and “Let Us Go as They Do” can be singled out separately, since they are built according to approximately the same algorithm. Synthetic keys, dance beats, a minimum of guitars, an emphasis on vocal parts and of course – a catchy chorus, they were always good in this. “The Neonai” has quite a bit of “Forever Autumn” feeling, but it sounds simpler, not so elegant. Each song has its personality. For example the light ballad “Solitude” sends us straight to the psychedelic ways of “A Crimson Cosmos“. “Leave a Room” with female backing vocals fits the album’s style naturally, and later Jenny Tebler leads the main vocals line in “Sorcerers”. There is nothing surprising in the way “Nathalie and the Fireflies” picks up this romantic theme, adding a little more magic to the general line of “The Neonai”. The aggressive and dark “Down the Nile” took me by surprise, this wild thing is unlike any other in the album and it bears some resemblance to Pink Floyd’s “Nile Song“. Towards the very end, we unexpectedly receive “Outro”, a sort of posthumous potpourri, composed of excerpts from Lake of Tears’ songs taken from different albums and united by one mournful theme. Someone would say that was an epitaph, someone would call it a summing up, it doesn’t matter now. Although the album cover was performed by Kristian Wåhlin and it’s thematically close to the fantastic “A Crimson Cosmos”, the overall spirit of the album is rather depressive and is easily expressed by the quatrain of one of the songs: “So I’ve come to stand the pain / Hiding in a dream again / Another night and they are gone / And again I hide alone”.
Four years passed since the band’s split when a message from Daniel appeared on Lake of Tears’ official forum: “I, Mikael and Johan have discussed playing together again and we will probably try it out next week (if we can get our things together)… Let’s see…” As Daniel later admitted, getting back together was a conscious decision by each the band’s member, but fans and people from Noise Records played a key role in the possibility of a Lake of Tears reunion, giving the appropriate impetus to this decision from the outside.
The transition from Black Mark to German Noise Records opened up a second wind for the trio, and Lake of Tears were able to turn around in full force. The strength of “Black Brick Road”, the abundance of carefully considered twists, is daunting in comparison with “The Neonai”. The material is more diverse and expressive, but the new Lake of Tears holds on to the roots, and here you will find songs that not only take us further down the black road of depression, but also allow us to retreat to the safety of “Crimson Cosmos” and rest a bit in the shadow of the “Headstones”. The band has something to surprise even its oldest fans, and you’ll find the romantic “Making Evenings” or cosmic “The Organ” and the unbridled rock and roll dance hit “Sister Sinister” among the branded “The Greymen“, “Dystopia” and “A Trip with the Moon” with their recognizable sound. The title track warms with the return of the Hammond, and of course the vintage flair sets “Black Brick Road” apart from its synthetic predecessor. Doomy “Rainy Day Away” and the desperately wild “Crazyman” are remarkable in their own way, and you know – that was new, another Lake of Tears, but we have nothing to complain about because “Black Brick Road” kills.
“Black Brick Road” was recorded at Studio Mega with guest musicians including Magnus Sahlgren again on all guitar solos, as well as Dan Helgeson (organ) and vocalists Stina Rebelius and Ulrika Silver (wife of Christian Silver, who produced BBR). A well-known Swedish sound engineer and producer Jørgen Cremonese also helped out the guys with guitars. It is curious that they wanted to use Kristian Wåhlin’s cover for the album’s artwork initially, but in the end the band decided to abandon it, since it did not correspond to the gloomy spirit of the new songs. And thus, they chosen a gloomy artwork by Björn Gustafsson (administrator of the band’s official website), which ideally reflected Lake of Tears’ line-up emotions during that period.
It’s important to say that Lake of Tears didn’t disregard the fans who patiently waited the band’s return to “Headstones”, “Crimson Cosmos” or “Forever Autumn” sound or others who expected another artwork from Kristian Wåhlin… Well, the fact is Lake of Tears or maybe Daniel tried to capture a specific moment of their life with each album. And so they worked not to satisfy the others’ expectations, but to express their own needs at full capacity and by the all means available at that time. It could be said regarding all Lake of Tears’ albums. However the band returned to the gigs during the summer festivals of 2004 – Sweden Rock (Sweden), Rock the Nation (Turkey), With Full Force (Germany), Summer Breeze (Germany). The positive feedback shocked the musicians, according to their confessions, to the depths of their souls.
No matter what Lake of Tears play, you’ll know them by the dominating melancholic mood of their songs, Daniel’s vocals, the poetic imagery that fills his lyrics and the compositional turns that link different albums into one discography. Having gained the reputation in the mid-90s, they were moving always denying a rigid status of “doom” or “prog” band. Their seventh album “Moons and Mushrooms” wasn’t an exception and new influences were adopted by the band and built in the album’s structure.
Sand this time you can put a “gothic” label on Lake of Tears without any doubt. The “gothic” component in the case of Lake of Tears works great with old-fashioned psychedelic and progressive rock and heavy metal influences in its mid-tempo doom format. An important role in the recording of “Moons and Mushrooms” was played by Magnus Sahlgren, who has long helped Lake of Tears as a session musician but his time he was recruited as a full-time member. Most of the lead guitar parts are performed by Magnus, and this significantly influenced the melodiousness and variety of the album’s compositions as he was involved in the songwriting process from the very start. It’s easy to see why the album received high marks from both fans and critics. And if you can tell a separate story about each song of “Moons and Mushrooms”, but you need to highlight one, many will call “Children of the Gray”, reminiscent of “Crazyman” from “Black Brick Road”. However Lake of Tears’ members mentioned “Like a Leaf” and “Planet of the Penguins” as their favorite songs, and I believe that you have your own favorite tracks on the album.
Unfortunately, in 2009 Magnus Sahlgren completed his career as a musician and focused on research and teaching. The place of the band’s guitarist was occupied by Fredrik Jordanius soon. The band played a lot of shows with him in the period 2009 – 2011, and eventually their new album was released by the German label AFM Records the same year. Officially “Illwill” is recorded by the trio Daniel Brennare (vocals, guitar), Johan Oudhuis (drums) and Fredrik Jordanius (guitar, bass, vocals). Fredrik played with the guys without interruption from the main employment at that time in the Swedish heavy band Egonaut, and he had a proper experience of being a part of local metal underground. The band was accompanied in the studio by sound engineer Johan Örnborg, who recorded additional guitar parts, bass guitarist Freddy Zielinski and the head of ruined Cemetary – Mathias Lodmalm. Mathias helped with the vocals and also co-composed the songs “The Hating” and “U.N.S.A.N.E.” Two videos were shot for the songs “Illwill” and “House of the Setting Sun” in order to support the new release, the fans were pleased.
Perhaps even “Greater Art” wasn’t as heavy and dark as “Illwill”. The sheer depressiveness of this material is not a tribute to the genre, these are real captured fragments of completely real, unfeigned negative experiences. The album opens with the cheeky thrashy track “Floating in Darkness” and shocked fans quickly realized that this song is no exception. “The Hating” delivers the same atypical Lake of Tears dose of concentrated aggression delivered at high speed. The bitter “Illwill” also sounds too hostile for Lake of Tears, as does the overly oppressive but touching “House of the Setting Sun” in its own way. Motorhead-fashioned “Parasites” breaks in after the gothic rock piece “Behind the Green Door“, and “Out of Control” is closer to the traditional heavy claiming to be a stadium hit. When there is nothing to lose and only one song separates the band from the finale, Lake of Tears shoots the proto black metal projectile “Midnight Madness“. The band has never recorded anything like that before, and even the doomy “House of the Setting Sun” reminds more of “Black Brick Road” than something from the albums of their “classical” period. Such changes predictably disappointed some fans, because they were still waiting for the band to step back to one of their previous positions. But the facts are that Lake of Tears said what they wanted to said, and it was direct and honest message. As the years go by, “Illwill” still grants thrilling experience, although it disappointed many fans in the context of the Lake of Tears discography back then in 2011. Probably that was time when we needed to say last “farewell” to the good old psychedelic space sailors.
Tribute albums remain one of special forms of recognition. And, perhaps unexpectedly even for the Lake of Tears themselves, the Russian label FONO honored the band’s 20th anniversary with the release of two massive double tribute albums – “Twenty Years In Tears” (2012) and “Twenty Years In Tears 2” (2014). The geography of the participating bands covers a couple of dozen countries, and the magnificent cover design by Vladimir Chebakov (W. Smerdulak), imitating the original style of Kristian Wåhlin, a solid booklet made these albums unique. Indeed, it was a good gift for both the band and the fans.
AFM Records released Lake of Tears’ first ever live album “By the Black Sea” in January 2014, it featured both CD and DVD with the band’s show filmed at the Romanian festival “The Metalhead Meeting” at the atmospheric Arenele Romane open-air theater in Bucharest on September 21st, 2013. Then the underground label Sweetwater Records, founded by Johan Oudhuis, pleased the band’s fans with the release of a seven-inch record called “Wyverns” in January 2014. It includes an unreleased track of the same name from 1993 and a demo version of the composition “Cosmic Weed” from 1996. Some copies of the record were accompanied by a poster for Lake of Tears’ first live tour, “Live’s But A Dream Tour ’95”.
Lake of Tears took part in the heavy metal cruise “70000 Tons of Metal” in January 2015, their last two shows to date are performed aboard the luxury ocean liner “The Liberty Of The Seas“. Mikael Larsson and Fredrik Jordanius left the band soon after these performances. Like a bolt from the blue in February 2017, information appears that Johan Oudhuis left Lake of Tears for personal reasons. Rumors about Daniel’s work on a new album came and went, and finally AFM released the singles “At the Destination” and “In Wait and in Worries” in digital format in December 2020 and January 2021. Something unexpected this way came.
The ninth full-length “Ominous” was released in February 2021, but Lake of Tears fans didn’t have time to resent the new change of style, as Daniel Brennare made a grim revelation explaining why the band has been silent for years: “…I want no pity. I think I am so much better off then so many others on this planet. Though I am a miserable one life has provided me with so much, that so many will never have. Again, I feel like I won a lottery.
I think one should do things for others. It’s one of the main things in life. To do things only for oneself, is not very useful for the world in general. Though from time to time one must do things for oneself first. Ominous is one of those times for me.
And there is another reason (except for me trying to motivate myself into future endeavours, without any borders). I want to explain where Ominous is coming from. Not because I have to or really want to (these things are not easy to share). But there have been people telling me to do this since it can be quite a difficult record to understand otherwise. I actually did this already for Illwill, but maybe in a more obscure way. <…>
It was about 12-13 years ago (I don’t remember exactly, or I have chosen to forget). I got diagnosed with chronical leukaemia. Yes, I almost died and yes, I had to make my peace with death (so many practical things to handle, insurances, bank loans etc). It was not easy but it was done…”
Daniel remained the band’s only member, but traditionally he had some help from outside. This time his guests were Studio Mega’s sound engineer Christian Silver (drums), guitarist of the local death metal band Evocation Vesa Kenttäkumpu (bass, guitar) and Lars Rapp (double bass). It’s easy to find that “Ominous” is the most introspective and personal album, and there wasn’t enough black in the Lake of Tears palette to express Daniel’s emotions in this situation. Musically, “Ominous” can be compared to “The Neonai” with some of its notable emphasis on synthetic keyboards and atypical composition structures, but “Ominous“… it’s really sinister. The dramatic mourning number “In Wait and in Worries” sounds so sincere and desperate that it seems like an epitaph – the keyboards and violin only intensify the feeling of fatalism, “Lost in a Moment” continues this theme, but adds dirty angry guitars. Daniel returns to the darkness of “Illwill” on “Ominous One”, but this hard and fast track is flavored with the mysticism of past works and therefore seems a little softer. But the slow “Ominous Too” almost resembles the band’s classics. As “One without Dreams” set a little more drive, but then “The End of This World” started and with it came the feeling of an obvious impending disaster. I wanted to believe that “Cosmic Sailor” will add a couple of bright notes to the echoes of “The Homecoming”, but neither this track nor the final “In Gloom” bring any relief or a glimpse of hope.
Daniel explains the idea of “Ominous” and the two monsters featured on the album cover this way: “The first of the “monsters” that is included in the story of “Ominous” is the physical disease itself. The one who destroys your body. But then, after a while, the real “shit” comes. It gets into your head. And things start to get really ugly. This will be the second “monster” of the story. Brother of the first. It creeps into your mind, getting stronger as you get weaker… There are things in this world we can’t fight, but there is always hope. Shit happens even more often than ever, but I want to believe that the world will return to its relatively ‘normal’ state, and who knows… maybe someday we’ll get another Lake of Tears album”.
“Ominous” received high marks in all major online and print rock publications, and the limited edition records were sold out on the AFM Records online store in a matter of hours after the start of pre-sale. Mathias Lodmalm announced in the spring of 2022 that finally he became the sole and legal owner of all Cemetary’s master recordings and related publications formerly owned by the Black Mark label. The copyright work was done in conjunction with Daniel Brennare, who also brought back the rights to five classic Lake of Tears’ albums. The news regarding the re-release of the Lake of Tears back catalog of the Black Mark era was not long in coming, and the Greek label The Circle Music and Daniel Brennare announced the beginning of collaboration in the summer of 2022. The re-release of the “Forever Autumn” album in various formats and new mastering was announced soon, so there’s a hope that Lake of Tears’ classical album will return to the fans in new formats.
Alexey Evdokimov and Boris Rodionov especially for The Circle Music.