Lake Of Tears    

AFM Records

Being a fan of the first two album from these Swedish dark metallers I had lost touch since those early days.  So it was with great curiosity I approached this album.  I wondered how they had since changed over the many intervening years.  And I was pretty disappointed.  The first track, Floating In Darkness, got things started in the wrong direction with its fuzzed out, black metal riffs that drop into tepid punky rock riffs.  Shifting into more goth metal territory is the title track.  The stomping pace of the chorus imbues the track with a flatness that leaves me uninterested.  The Hating starts off promisingly enough with a Slayer-ish thrash shred but then the chorus hits with a bit of a catchy hook in the vocal phrasing.  But I am only mildly interested.  The only time during this album I am really captivated is during House Of The Setting Sun with its dreamy calmness that recalls Wildhoney era Tiamat.  Unfortunately this is the only track like this album.  Overall this is a pretty varied album as there are so many styles that peak their head through the clouds in the songwriting.  To illustrate that point the following track, Behind The Green Door is a total goth track that summons comparisons to Sisters Of Mercy and Fields Of The Nephilim but is not as moving as either of those artists.  Maybe it was my expectations, or the fondness I have for the Tiamat-esque early albums from these guys, but I was supremely underwhelmed by Illwill.