Lake of Blood – Omnipotens Tyrannus CS

LakeOBlood (200x197)The superfluous swath of popular culture emanating from southern California does not permeate the hearts of all its inhabitants. Case in point: black metal soul-searchers Lake of Blood, whose sophomore release Omnipotens Tyrannus showcases a return dripping in angry quarts of the liquid that is their namesake.

With an EP and a split preceding, Lake of Blood’s 2011 full-length As Time and Tide Erodes Stone debuted with crashing waves of the bands’ coastline juxtaposed with walls of math rock/melodic black metal riffs caving in, its in-your-face yet sharp production leaving nothing to the imagination about its human-hating intent. In the intervening years, however, with a new lineup and a live album making the rounds, Lake of Blood have re-imagined themselves. I enjoyed As Time…, but I was unprepared for the ferocity and wonderfully disturbing qualities of Omnipotens Tyrannus. Each note of the guitar attacks with more precision and strength, each snap of the snare smacks harder and faster. Haagr chants his bemoaned misanthropy with even more sincerity than before. Interludes of disharmonic noise and barely audible, female spoken-word moments evoke terror and loss (no soothing field recordings will be found here). The distorted bass props all these up with a crisp wash, strongly underpinning the chaos of the frequencies above. In short, the clean production of the previous record has been shelved for a more ‘humid’ tone, dirty and dank and altogether more evil. No tracks escape the mould – when doomier moments surface (as on ‘Agape’), the black metal intensity never lets up; the album’s air asphyxiates no matter the tempo. When the post-metal/jazz intro of ‘Tyrranus’ readies you for the pillaging to come, the sorrow conveyed is too palpable to be overly-settling. A check of the promo materials, and the list of helping hands clarifies the goings-on. Wrest (Leviathan, Lurker of Chalice) has left his stamp on the album, providing lyrics, howls, and ‘strings’. Atmospherics were all orchestrated by Scott Miller of Sutekh Hexen. No matter who did what, its the whole that matters, and the whole of Omnipotens Tyrannus has texture and depth, encouraging repeated explorations. No sophomore slump here, folks, just punk-prog character twinged with California darkness. -Jim

Cult of Melancholia

stream can be found here:

~ by cliftonium on November 13, 2013.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: