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Deadwood Lake - Forgotten Hymns Award winner

Deadwood Lake
Forgotten Hymns
by Gareth Beams at 10 October 2018, 11:33 AM

DEADWOOD LAKE are a Black Metal band from the southwest UK that blend intensity and emotion with melody and atmosphere. In April 2015, Bruce's brother, Gary, passed away after a fatal car accident. They formed as a studio band in his memory, creating songs as a tribute to him and as a way to deal with the loss. “Loss” wastes no time as it explodes from the off into coarse, but clear vocals. The guitar is clean and sharp, it works very well to create a smooth opening, with some jiggered death growls to show the darkness. The breaking of the tempo mid-song allows a more Black Metal approach to overtake the song, it allows the atmosphere to grow. The pace is not slowed down for long, continuing with the progressive approach, adding a few beautifully melodic solo’s to show Death Metal potential. The song is beautifully dark, within the darkness is their own sound, not a carbon copy of another band’s.

There is a slower opening for “Unveil The Flesh”, more like what you’d expect as an intro to an album. It lasts a minute until Ryan brings in the guitar. The skills and technical ability really helps the song to grow into its own. The whispers in the background sound more like when Carpathian Forest covered The Cure’s “A Forest”. The pace picks up after more sharp solos are laid out. The song maybe heavy with vocals, but you never get the impression it will take into a crazed pace, this was clearly what they aimed for. Such great control shown in this song, showing how a band can have more than one approach to Black Metal. A solo to finish that most Death and Black Metal bands would love to be able to pull off, trust me, this band is going places.

There is a blend in style and approach from the previous song in “A New Chapter (Life And Death)”, its heavy, but well controlled. The vocals are far more aggressive, as it is a shorter song, it has a different approach, the guitar is once again brilliant, the vocals are more in your face, short and angry. It’s another rabbit out the hat. The pace at the end is similar to Thrash Paced Death Metal, more commonly heard with bands like KATAKLYSM and NECROPHAGIST. So far, the songs seem to start in a similar way, but all change direction, this one feels more Death than Black Metal, it’s a change but it still makes you want to hear more . Slow and steady, that’s how to describe the intro to “Walk Into Blackened Flame”. The guitar is gently flowing through the song, met by a solid, but controlled drum beat. The song then kicks up the gears once the vocals are introduced, along with a few deeper outbursts. The pace levels out, to remain steady into mid-song range, but in the back of your mind, you know shit could kick off and a guitar solo could change it all. There is no change, just a beautiful outro, guitar is once more in the lime light to allow us to appreciate what is going on here. The last-minute picks up into the heavier side once more, with passion in the vocals hitting hard.

Nocturnal Solace” doesn’t hit the 3-minute mark, but it hits every other mark. The pace is slow for a brief period at the start, which is a recurring theme. The kick off takes the tempo into overdrive. The control showed throughout the album is clear to hear in this song too. There is enough talent in this song to prove it could have lasted longer if required, but it is still a good song, even if by the time you get in to it, its almost over. “The Bonds Of Blood Transcend All Others” takes just over 20 seconds to clear the intro, the approach here is not slow, nor is it Thrash-paced, it’s a progressive medium. The vocals are clear and full of passion. The tempo is steadily flowing through. The instrumental melody is not the darkest you’ll hear from a Black Metal album, but it is consistent. The album could not end without a few solos thrown in, and a few technical outbursts chucked in to once more let us appreciate the band.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Loss
2. Unveil The Flesh
3. A New Chapter (Life And Death)
4. Walk Into Blackened Flame
5. Nocturnal Solace
6. The Bonds Of Blood Transcend All Others
Bruce Powell - Bass & Vocals
Tom Warren - Drums & Vocals
Ryan Wills - Guitars & Backing Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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