I’m a firm believer in giving an album a chance, over the years there have been many albums which I’ve gone on to regard as some of my very favorites which took six or seven, or even more, listens before they finally clicked in. So when the debut album Lore of the Lakes (Gilead Media) by Inexorum didn’t manage to raise the pulse rate even slightly I was not too perturbed, although let’s be fair you do expect a bit more from black metal, its raison d’être, after all, is to shock.
Sadly over the course of many listens I found that, with the exception of the last and title track, Lore of the Lakes is entirely forgettable. I guess that it could be described as hypnotic and trancelike as to be honest on nearly every listen it was far more effective at getting me into a trancelike state than those “Lose Weight With Hypnosis” CDs you can buy from those people in sharp suits and perfect teeth. But the fact is, I actually had to make a conscious effort to listen to what was going on in the album to describe it, and I certainly couldn’t listen to it whilst driving or operating heavy machinery. If the lyrics were discernible I’d have probably been induced to start larping or turning up in the background of an Immortal video in just my underpants looking frostbitten and confused.
Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing inherently bad about the album and the production is probably too polished considering the idea is a homage to nineties black metal, but for any other genre would be amazing – black metal’s necro production of course being famously praised for entirely opposite aesthetics. There are some frankly amazing pounding drums, and everything you’d but it just doesn’t seem to work. There’s a spark missing. It almost pains me to say it but this is one of the first times I’ve listened to a blackened death album and had the thought that it sounds generic, but there it is. One of the most creative and interesting genre’s or recent years, one which was literally designed to shake you from complacency and this is the first time I’ve though a release to sound formulaic.
The album’s real saving grace is the final and title track, ‘Lore of the Lake’. This track made me sit up and take notice, atmospheric, interesting and plenty of almost Maiden-esque theatre of the mind touches in the doomier and rawer mix, it takes its time and all the elements on the album do finally come together and come together very well indeed. This track alone shows real promise and makes me wants to hear more from Inexorum and hope that they can focus their sound down this route.