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Eric Wagner – In the Lonely Light of Mourning

Eric Wagner
In the Lonely Light of Mourning
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 04 April 2022, 3:21 PM

On August 22, 2021, former TROUBLE singer Eric Wagner departed this world. His death cast a greater pall on an already difficult and trying year, a year where many of Eric’s devoted fans used his music as a balm for their souls. In an unintended twist of fate, Eric had put the finishing touches on his debut solo album, "In the Lonely Light of Mourning" mere weeks before his passing. It now serves as the definitive swansong for one of Doom Metal’s most beloved voices. His final album here has a host of guest musicians, and contains eight tracks.

“Rest in Place” opens the album. It begins with slow bass guitar notes. Rhythm guitar is added, and the mood is somber. The vocals are clean and not quite what I expected. With all of the lead-up, I expected to hear a powerful and commanding voice, but what I got instead was something a little on the weak side. “Maybe Tomorrow” features another simple riff along with easy vocals. Maybe it’s because Eric was nearing the end of his time here because they just sound frail and uninspired. “Isolation” has a little more life to it but I cannot help but comment on the tracked vocals and am wondering what their purpose is other than to thicken them up?

“If You Lost it All” is even a step worse than what I would have thought. The vocals are pitchy and the tender nature of the song is killed by his delivery. This is a love song gone bad, and I am very sorry to say that. “Strain Theory” goes the opposite direction with a slow, lumbering riff but thinned out sound. They really need to add more into this “less is more” approach to songwriting, because they aren’t doing their fans any favors. “Walk with me to the Sun” begins with clean tones that are soon washed with a heavy, repetitive riff on an open chord. I get the message here but the music is just so damn bland.

“In the Lonely Light of Mourning” features some more pensive tones. Beginning with clean vocals and some really somber tones, it might be the best song on the album. But again, those pitchy vocals don’t do it any favors. “Wish You Well” closes the album. It opens with a slow clean riff that soon picks up with speed and fervor along with some lead guitar notes. This song has some energy but unfortunately it’s too little, too late on the album. This mellow Doom outfit just did not impress me much. I hate to speak ill of the dead, so I will not do so. Instead, focusing on the music, it’s just simple riffing over a sound that you have heard before. I really don’t see any reason to spin this album unless you are a huge fan of Eric. Rest in Peace, mate.

Songwriting: 3
Musicianship: 3
Memorability: 3
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Rest in Place
2. Maybe Tomorrow
3. Isolation
4. If You Lost it All
5. Strain Theory
6. Walk with Me to the Sun
7. In the Lonely Light of Mourning
8. Wish You Well
Lineup:
Eric Wagner – Vocals
Record Label: Cruz Del Sur Music
     


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