Lake Of Blood hail from southern California, yet are producing the kind of metal you'd more than likely associate with a scene much further north than that; Cascadian black metal is a genre full of atmosphere, full of passion for nature and the preservation of the world we live in. Full of aggression. And Lake Of Blood have taken all that, and completely made it their own.
My first taste of this band came when I stumbled upon a split they put out with Panopticon. Having an EP and that split under their belts, some time was spent in the studio and As Time And Tide Erodes Stone was the end result. 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. "Proxigean Arcanum" 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.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.
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 emotion 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. 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 being predictable is boring as all hell. This is not a predictable band. Their first EP was a four track, twenty minute wonder, their full length a two track thirty minute delight. Who know what the future holds for this band. I wish I knew.
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.
8.7 / 10
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