Oct 31, 2012
V/A - Twenty Years In Tears – "Tribute to Lake of Tears" ...
The traditions of tribute albums in Russia were not successful from the start. Each time I shudder, remembering miserable “Moskvalika”, I’m puzzled reviving in my memory tribute to Russian metal legends Aria. And now – The Lake of Tears! Who even dared to do that! The formal Russian funclub dared – and I have to admit that these people were not only enthusiastic, they’ve showed convincing professionalism, picking up together 26 (twenty-six) tracks from Russian, Ukrainian, Swedish, Mexican, Finnish and Swiss bands. There were much more participants, who left the project after all, including ancient Cemetery, but it is already discussed behind the scenes. What are the main features of the tribute album? The songs included you can divide into three types: sung note for the note (“because we love the team”), sung in the own way (“because we love the team and we were able to add something from ourselves”) and sung somehow (“oh, damn… it’s happened”). This dividing is optional, but it is true, you have to agree. Yes, you have!
So, “The Twenty Years in Tears” consists of two CDs. Songs are represented chronologically, thereby the album begins with compositions from significant death doom debut “Greater Art”, and ends with the track from last dark progressive opus “Illwill”. To be honest, there is also an interesting bonus track, but more on that later. As you understand, there was no way for teams, performing death doom part, to realize their own ideas – stylistic borderlines of “Greater Art” don’t allow that. However, neither Atra Hora, nor Sacratus, who performed unalterable “Under the Crescent” and “Upon The Highest Mountain” practically without changes, have not disappointed. Grobut Neerg produced a real delight, reanimating the most driving track - “As Daylight Yields” – in origin it was not so rough, clear and therefore hard enough. But our compatriots added all of these ingredients, not exaggerating though. Adfail have covered “Evil Inside” in more wicked way – respect to the vocalist, the instrumental part has no changes, rather than reproaches, you can’t spoil porridge with butter. Aglarond (here comes Mexica) has added gothic apropos to “Tears” – you can hear piano, violins, keyboard arrangements, I can’t remember the original density of all this, but new arrangements are all on their places.
Resuming, covers for “Greater Art” came out equally good, may be the reason is, that in 1994 the original songs were not produced ideally. It was a surprise to meet Mental Home from Moscow (recently comeback the almost contemporaries of The Lake of Tears, founded in 1993), who has demonstrated the creativity as it is. The lyrics of cult song “RavenLand” has rewrote in Russian, but this version is close to the original, not copying it, it is called “artistic translation”. The temp of composition became vivid, and the sharp vocal typical to Mental Home, has added a real darkness to the mood of the song. The Ukrainian Tectum has performed “Dreamdemons” without making unwanted faces, it turned out half-baked bur cordial. The capital track “Headstones” was undertaken by Hexentraum, and they justified all hopes, making that step! The song sounded in a “folk” way, because of the vocalist, but the main discovery became the accordion, surprisingly good in new arrangement. Zerokarma sends regards from the Far East with the canonical hit “Burn Fire Burn”, fresh and striking, but I have always run through that song. Dominia from St.Petersburg were very facetiously in performing their part. Known by their concert doom hit “Mountains of God’s Depression”, they were logical in performing “The Path Of The Gods” (Upon The Highest Mountain II), but this song, with strong vocal in origin, sounded chilly, even considering the violin, which made all the other instruments sound colourless. Satanation has almost made a sacrilege, but after all their version of “Cosmic Weed”, seriously mutated, sounds hardly recognizable, but very attractive because of the excellent female vocal, and somebody may like the melodic death-final. The first part of the tribute is finished with Tartharia, who prepared “Devil’s Dinner” in the most unrecognizable way, putting the hard sound to the rock’n’roll dance hit, the result is confusing in my opinion, but the death metal fans may not agree with me.
The second CD begins with ”Four Strings Of The Morning” – played by Finns Awake In Shades, they gathered together to make this only song, and, honestly, their cover hasn’t touched me – the vocal is too smooth as it really needs more emotions. Mexican Aglarond has performed two tracks for release, and the second one - “Raistling And The Rose” sounds as tragic and oppressive, as the original song. Draconian and Doom: VS has made “Hold on Tight” in the performance of Shadowgarden, their rather new project, you can’t tell it from the original song, and I’m satisfied with it. Inside You (Istra), who formerly followed the lead of German pop-team Crematory, has spoiled the title song “Forever Autumn” – the instrumental part is brilliant, but the vocalist might not listened to himself, and it is quite regrettable. By the way, Draconian not only presented the abovementioned project, they personally in their special way as much as possible overloaded with death doom grief a melancholic ballad “Demon You / Lilly Ann”. Those Swede has made a significant doom-monument from the second-rate song, and they knew what they have done, believe me. “All-stars” pagan thrash / death metal team “Put’ Solntsa” (Sun Path) has humiliated the “Return of the Ravens”, completely changing it for their own purposes, well, if they had fun, I’m glad but I see no reasons to do such higgledy-piggledy black metal song of good prog hit… The compatriots of the celebrators who appeared on the Swedish stage in 1989 - dark and almighty The Equinox Ov Gods have performed two compositions at once. Their version of “Let Us Go As They Do” is ideal, full of absolute gloom from deep forests and wet graves, Fredrik Wallin’s assistants have always been successful in expressing their visions of darkness in all it’s forms. In addition, musicians have completely demonized “Planet Of The Penguins” – in their peculiar manner – cheerlessly, hard, oppressively. The members of gothic doom formation – Beseech – are known today as The Mary Major, and I’m so grateful for their version of “The Greymen” – it became more energetic, emotions are hot at their most, and this interchange of splendid female vocal (thank you very much, Lotta, you’re the best, Lotta!) with solid hard rock male vocal – it sounds just great! “Black Brick Road” is not among my favorite albums, but I have an intension to listen it again to refresh “Dystopia” in my mind, because Swiss Xicon produced a modern hit for dark electro dancing out of it. Handful of Stars (Ukraine) have started on a merry note (their “Sister Sinister” was tempting from the first accords), but finished on a sad one – the chorus was accompanied with unsuitable thrash and jeer, only willful Hammond is on his place as other instruments do a totally cacophonic touch. The bastard-rockers Egonaut appear twice in the album (if I understood correctly, their guitarist plays in The Lake of Tears) - “Children Of The Grave” sounds positively sharp and forceful, and a new one for me “Floating In Darkness” reminds the alternative teams of the 90-s with its anarchy and aggression. However, I’ve mentioned the bonus-track, released separately, it is the vigorous “heavy metal / drum’n’bass” version of “Burn Fire Burn”, performed by Kaliningrad team Type V Blood. They made it with all responsibility, smart and professionalism, so I have to listen the new edit again and again. Respect to the vocalist – his voice fits the mood of the song and its attacking metal character best. I’m just bloody happy with such surprise, and glad to hear this track on the album.
So, I was not sure, that all twenty and a half tracks of “Twenty Years In Tears” turn out great and admirable. To tell the truth, the last albums of The Lake of Tears have not so many hits at all. Nevertheless I consider this tribute is successful. More than a half of bands have performed really interesting versions of old songs, the release has a great design, considerable efforts were applied to produce it. It’s much more preferable than to get another “greatest hits album”. So my best regards to all the participants and best wishes to The Lake of Tears!
Words: Aleks Evdokimov
Lake Of Tears.SU
Lake of Tears.Net
Tribute sampler: HERE
The Equinox ov Gods covers: HERE
Nekroheart “tape” cover (not included in original edition): HERE
Tags: Lake of Tears