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Deadwood Lake – Immortalised in Death

Deadwood Lake
Immortalized in Death
by Santiago Puyol at 12 September 2019, 10:41 AM

DEADWOOD LAKE is a British Atmospheric and Melodic Black Metal band. "Immortalised in Death" is their second studio album, following their debut "Forest of Whispers" from 2017, as well as the EPs "Remembrance" (2016) and "Forgotten Hymns" (2018). The output of the band has been deeply shaped by the death of a friend and brother of band members, which translates into a profound, melancholic and emotional style.

Opener "Visions from the Faded Years" sets the tone and feel that the album follows, with its Post-Metal riffing and beautiful acoustic passages. It’s an energetic, yet melodic start to the album. A mournful solo, courtesy of Ryan Wills, rests on a bed of intense playing by the whole band. Deadwood Lake takes the gang vocal approach in most of the album, and it certainly fits the style and topic of the album.

The single "The March of Time" follows with OPETH-like riffing, being quite reminiscent of the "Blackwater Park" era. It features one of the grooviest basslines on the album, a highlight for Bruce Powell. After a brief, atmospheric breakdown, it gets progressively chaotic, exploding in a noisy outro.

This gives way to the progressive title track. "Immortalised in Death" opens with a dramatic spoken word section, atop nostalgic, acoustic guitar. The tempo starts to pick up and the song builds towards intense riffing and complex drumming. The melodic lead feels vulnerable amidst the chaos, painfully wailing on a beautiful, clean solo.

"Guidance" feels jazzier with its tempo changes and syncopated drumming, and it’s actually one of the highpoints for drummer Tom Warren, showcasing his organic approach behind the kit and sense of groove. "My Ashes Will Remain" gets into heavy psychedelia territory halfway through, with a swingy feel from its 6/8 time signature. Guest guitarist Paul Nazarkardeh provides a prog-tingled solo, making an interesting use of dissonance to add an unnerving feel to the track.

Being over eight minutes in length, "Alone I Fly" takes its time to build and rebuild itself; an exercise in crescendoing. It features drawn-out, Post-Rock-ish instrumental sections, at times reminiscent of Blackgaze or Post-Metal bands like DEAFHAVEN or JESU. It’s a groove-ridden track, with Powell and Warren taking the spotlight in creative ways. The heavy use of ride cymbals accents the syncopated, jazzy feel of the track.

"Drowning Reality" is built around a mysterious guitar line and a catchy, almost danceable rhythm on the verses. It is one of the most dissonant tracks on the record and features an intense, Hardcore-tingled outro.

"Vigils” is the most progressive track here with its shifting tempos and feels. It features more spoken word passages, great use of amp feedback as texture, as well as riff building. Beyond five minutes and a half it sets into a Classic Metal inspired groove and melody.

The musicianship is proficient, and even when there is a lot of guitar soloing it never gets too flashy. Guitarist Ryan Wills knows how to balance technique and emotion. The MVP of the record is bassist Bruce Powell though, playing a supporting role and keeping the songs together, while Tom Warren adds some Jazz undertones behind the drum kit.

Production is mostly efficient, bringing the rhythm section upfront and never drowning the lead guitar on solos, when it is its moment to shine, but it does get a bit noisy and overtly compressed at times.

"Immortalised in Death" is a solid record with strong Post-Metal influences and some progressive bits sprinkled all over it. Deadwood Lake shows their talent on the songwriting department, mainly in the way they use riffs as building blocks to construct songs, connecting them in interesting ways.  It’s an emotional record that certainly has a high replay value and kind of a grower, considering some interesting details might get lost on the first couple of spins.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Visions from the Faded Years
2. The March of Time
3. Immortalised in Death
4. Guidance
5. My Ashes Will Remain
6. Alone I Fly
7. Drowning Reality
8. Vigils
Bruce Powell – Bass & Vocals
Tom Warren – Drums & Vocals
Ryan Wills – Guitars & Backing Vocals
Paul Nazarkardeh – Guest guitar solo on "My Ashes Will Remain
Record Label: UKEM Records


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