By Dr. Abner Mality

I just about overlooked this CD completely when the latest batch of material from AFM Records came in. What a mistake that would have been,  as this has wound up being my favorite of the bunch and an unexpected pleasure.

The term "dark metal" has been thrown around for a few years now without really being defined too well. Well, Lake of Tears really sum that phrase up perfectly. They play down-beat, gloomy but heavy music that avoids the doom tag because of its sometimes-aggressive nature and which also can't be described as Gothic because of its grittiness. "Illwill" runs a stylistic gamut from thick, raw rifferama like "Floating In Darkness" and "U.N.S.A.N.E." to restrained Bauhaus/Sisters of Mercy style gloominess in "House of the Setting Sun". Tracks like "The Hating", "Parasites" and the very distorted "Midnight Madness" have a thrashy, almost d-beat anger to them. And other cuts like the title track, "Behind the Green Door" and "Out Of Control" seem to combine all of the above.

Through it all, a feeling of grit and melancholy ties it all together. The vocals are also unique and I can't immediately compare them to any one individual. The result is an album that holds up to multiple listens and can satisfy not only metalheads but those who like muscle with their misery. Thoroughly recommended!