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Album Review: "Greater Art" by Swedish Doom and Death Metal Band Lake of Tears

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

The Type of Album That Greater Art Is

Lake of Tears is the latest metal band to enter the listening experience of this writer. Their 1994 debut album Greater Art is an example of doom and death metal and it is somewhat like early Amorphis. However, the vocals are not exactly like 100% death metal style but a rough metal style of that makes any sense. Stylistically, I look at this first Lake of Tears album as being really close to Tales from the Thousand Lakes without the rough death metal style vocals. It does have the feel of an early 1990s Gothic and death metal album though and one example of this is near the end of the song “Tears.”

"Greater Art" Is a Musically Diverse Kind of Album

Greater Art is an album with eight songs but 34 minutes of pretty high quality Gothic metal from these Swedes. The amount of quality metal bands in Sweden might be enough to write at least two books on if not more. However, this album isn’t all about doom and death metal. One example of this slight departure from that formula is the song called “Upon the Highest Mountain.” It is challenging to decipher the lyrical message in this song but we will do our best. Lyrically, the song seems to be sending the message that in life, there is the peak of our destiny and our existence, that highest point that we must strive to achieve. Lyrically, I would say that the song is metaphorically saying that it is our destiny to reach our highest point in life. “Under the Crescent” begins this album and lyrically it is about someone asking the goddess of love to come into his life to cleanse his heart and soul.

Final Thoughts About "Greater Art"

Does this mean that this debut by Sweden’s Lake of Tears is a musical work of art? That depends on what a person means by work of art but the riffs and melodies on this album match the early style of the times so on that end, this album scores a musical sort of victory. Although Under the Crescent is a decent way to start off this first Lake of Tears album, the song is an average mid-tempo rock kind of song. The message in the song speaks of wanting to have a person’s heart and soul saved but this is not Amorphis level Gothic or death metal style. Greater Art is a good Swedish metal album but there are better albums than this one when it comes to metal bands from the great nation of Sweden. This album has its great parts such as the soft guitar section of the song “Greater Art.” That part should be a reminder that it sounds like what Swedish melodic death metal bands were putting out at the time in terms of the style of music. “Evil Inside” is a song that lyrically tries to explain that everyone has a bit of evil inside of them. “Netherworld” stylistically sounds like a better version of the band Rotting Christ. One of the outstanding qualities about Sweden’s Lake of Tears is that at least in this album they are able to compose music that is pleasant to the ear and does not have this sort of dark, evil feel to it if you know what I mean.

© 2022 Ara Vahanian

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