The Black Tears  – Lacrimal Lake (hard rock)

£7.90 iTunes DD

There’s an epic quality to Lacrimal Lake, but it’s not the pompous sort of epic, or the deliberately daft sort, both popular in rock, and largely concerned with the imagined activities of variously historical, demonic, political or sinister powers; The Black Tears are more concerned with the enormity of the ordinary. In these songs, the firepower of melodic hard rock is directed at the extraordinary experiences of normal people, used to represent the subjective importance of our emotional lives. In this, they continue in the tradition of a historical moment that the band avow as a stylistic touchstone, early 90s Seattle. The arrangements sport fine riffs a-plenty, but they also know how to exploit a minor modal chord sequence, and although the punk elements of grunge are not prominent, the album precisely nails that raw, impassioned simplification of early doom metal (Sabbath et al) that so informed the Seattle sound. Although they deploy the full power of their hard rock arsenal, The Black Tears’ songs are not all about the guitars, which rarely show any signs of grandstanding: this material is all about melody, carefully modulated sequences of notes, delivered by the velvet fist of Lischana Lane’s muscular voice. Great songs, well arranged, performed with commitment and fire.

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