Ebony Lake: In swathes of brooding light
27/07/12 || The Duff
I’ve come across some unusual, unfitting bandnames in my time. Ebony Lake would hint at doom, funeral doom perhaps, or maybe even elven power metal. What we get is an eclectic melange of Satan, Deathspell Omega, Ulcerate, Portal, classical, jazz, Virus, bizarre, unnerving synth, Borknagar-folk, Leviathan/Twilight, Sorgeldom and epic film scores, altogether drawing on repetition and dark riffs alternating between meandering and full-throttle to stimulate a feeling of restlessness.
The production is raw but thick, cavernous, and very effective (like a muddled Portal), the album nine tracks total each ranging from a modest just over four minutes to a staggering ten and a half minutes long. Is it good? Hell yes. I love the first half of this fucking record, but it’s a mess. It sounds like a random excursion into twisted noise, Hellish visions, dark caves and pagan sacrifices, orgies of blood and goats… goats everywhere. So many fucking goats.
Then we reach the midway mark and things take a shift towards the bizarre: entire music-less sections set to the sounds of wind and rain mixed with slightly Dillinger Escape Plan spazziness, and then followed by Morbid Angel of all things. This is where the record nose-dives a fair bit as the music becomes less remarkable, the sound far less ambitious. It sounds like Mithras with vocals and without the high-end musicianship. They aren’t terrific songwriters either, so for third-rate MA riffs, the record takes a saddened turn.
8,5/10 for the first half, 3/10 for the second.
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