Lake Of Tears

Markthalle, Hamburg - 2012

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Swedish Lake Of Tears is an old player within the doomy gothy kind of metal, starting out all the way back in 1992, but I must admit that apart from hearing the name I had no knowledge of this band before tonight.
Not only were they an old school goth metal band, but they were also the second band to hit the Markthalle stage on the Into Darkness tour which also consisted of Scar Of The Sun, Swallow The Sun, Moonspell and Pain, but more on that elsewhere.

“Good evening friends, we’re Lake Of Tears!”
- Daniel Brennare (vocals/guitar)


At first glance Lake Of Tears had a very simplistic visual appeal to them, what with the blood-red splattered stage drops in which a forest was silhouetted, and the all black backdrop on which was, as far as I could see, a large hand-drawn like pentagram in a circle.
Surprisingly though, the chosen intro music for the band didn’t support this imagery in any way; what was played was some sort of circus music crossbred with a hunting anthem which really made me wonder what would come next.
What that was, was a complete and utter style confusion amongst the musicians; Daniel Brennare mostly looked like a left-over punk-rocker from the 90ies (imagine Ulke of Dia Psalma) and sounded quite like that as well in his singing, then we had the Pro-Pain drummer Johan Oudhuis (he hasn’t actually been in Pro-Pain, but he reminded me of their former guitarist, Tom Klimchuck), and sharp-dressed bass man Mikael Larsson with his pressed shirt and stern face, and finally to complete this quartet we were presented with a guitarist who was sporting a clear-cut raggar style (a Swedish term, closely resembling a mix of rockabilly and hillbilly) at his tender age of, what, 15? This can’t be the Fredrik Jordanius who is listed as the present guitarist everywhere on the net, but who it is I have no idea…

The crowd in Markthalle had now grown considerably compared to Scar Of The Sun, and even though the general action was only marginally better than before, there was a loud group of girls just behind me who had clearly only showed up tonight for this band – man, the shouts of ecstasy they would let send were enough to outdo any p.a. system that the venue could ever hope of acquiring!
Up on the stage, things were a bit calmer though, as the musicians in Lake Of Tears stayed pretty much put in their places, and I can’t recall a single time when they changed sides with each other. They had one redeeming fact though, and that was that their contact with the crowd (eye- and otherwise) was much better than what the other band had achieved. Especially Larsson made a lot of efforts to get the crowd clapping and shouting, and even though a smile never graced his face, I’d still say he was happy with the result of his efforts.

As I mentioned earlier, I had no prior knowledge of Lake Of Tears, and this may have played in on my feelings about the music tonight, but overall I thought the set lacked some dynamics. They had some very nice intros on many of the songs, but when those where past all of the songs sounded very alike to each other, something which did not help the band along in my mind. Only the super slow ballad House Of The Setting Sun from the latest album dared to change things up a bit, and although it was most welcome in my mind, it was also a bit late given it was the second to last song Lake Of Tears played. It would have been better to have put this a bit earlier, or even better if they had had one more song in this style earlier on and kept this one in place.
I will give Lake Of Tears that they seemed to have some very sing-along friendly choruses overall, but as I didn’t know the lyrics, this fact didn’t really help me either even if I imagine it a plus for their fans.

I liked the fact that their performance was better structured, I could tell that this band had more experience in this sort of thing, but the music honestly didn’t catch on, and with the lacking changes it soon became a droning experience where my attention quickly drifted off.
It wasn’t terrible, just not very interesting.

Setlist:

Taste Of Hell
Illwill
Demon You / Lily Anne
Raven Land
The Greymen
Boogie Bubble
So Fell Autumn Rain
House Of The Setting Sun
Crazyman

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