Welsh alternative rock band BLACK LAKES have released their debut album For All We’ve Left Behind and it is a masterclass in all things melodic. The Chepstow-based band are quickly proving that they are one to watch out for, using the pandemic as an opportunity to explore their music talents and go above and beyond to produce this latest offering.
The album begins with Exordium, which is Latin for beginning or opening. This instrumental track reaches its full potential to capture the audience’s attention and bring us all into BLACK LAKES‘ world. It perfectly sets the tone for the other 11 tracks to follow – a brooding, dark prelude to the honesty that we as listeners are about to experience. A stand-out track is Dissident, a song all about defiance and rebellion in which vocalist Will Preston sings a rallying cry to those who feel oppressed and forgotten among us. Musically, it highlights the band’s talents and everything they have worked hard for over the last three years to produce this album. Guitarists Scott Bradshaw, James Rowlands and Dylan Burris blend chugging riffs and dark riffs to attack the listener and do nothing but enhance the aggression behind the lyrics.
For many, three guitars may be overkill, but they do not try to outplay each other – instead, they compliment one another. Behind this is a fantastic rhythm section comprising Lee Harris ploughing along on bass, and powerhouse drummer Dafydd Fuller, who also provides some of the heavier vocals throughout the album. Dissident allows the band to show themselves and what they stand for extremely early on in this album, and as just the second single released by the band it achieved the same goal in their career. Another stand out track is latest single Verity In Flames. As one of the heavier tracks on the album, it allows Fuller to show his aggressive vocals before a bouncy breakdown that any band should be proud of.
The entire album is wrapped in a cloud of intensity, dealing with topics like isolation, loss, impermanence, and pain. Each track features its own cinematic atmospherics that are clearly designed to impact the listener and further immerse them in the tracks themselves. While most of the album is haunting and drenched in melancholy, the ‘secret’ closing track Black Days Come allows the band to finish on a high note. Musically, it is a departure from the dark tones of the previous tracks and chooses to use an uplifting chorus to remove the listener from the sensitive topics that come before it. While it may not match the lyrics that centre around exhaustion, they counterpoint it perfectly. Ultimately, the song is a reminder to bring light back into our lives at the darkest of times – a thought that many need today.
For All We’ve Left Behind not only shows us exactly what BLACK LAKES are capable of right now, but leaves us guessing as to what they already have planned and what they strive to achieve. There is no doubt with this celebration of their talents and raising of the bar that we are not done hearing from this band by any means.
For All We’ve Left Behind is out now via self-release.
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