A Crimson Cosmos

Lake of Tears

Review score: 88%

Review Date: October 2013
Reviewer: Paul Jack
Source: Rock Hard Reviews
(www.rockhardreviews.com)

Amazon UK: Buy CD | Buy MP3 / Amazon US: Buy CD | Buy MP3

“You haven’t written anything for a bit,” said Big Ed (the Editor at Rock Hard Reviews, aka the ’ead ‘itter), why don’t you pick a little known classic album from your personal collection of old weird stuff and write about that.”

“...,”I grinned in reply before getting lost in the land of Rock Past once again. In the end I closed my eyes, groped around in a dusty cupboard for a bit, caused an avalanche and picked out a CD from the top of the pile. Turned out to be A Crimson Cosmos by Lake of Tears. Fate or fluke?

Lake of Tears are a Swedish band who played a variety of rock and metal genres over the years, from melodic keyboard rock through prog to doom and at their darkest, death metal. A cool journey, no?

Released in 1997, A Crimson Cosmos was a surprisingly fresh and somewhat psychedelic album release. It’s the third album from Lake of Tears, and features an appealing collection of melodic rock. Themes range from the quirky to outright crazy dreamstate inducing weirdness (or maybe that was just me). But the killer track for the album was a fantasy based number called Raistlin and The Rose, which helped raise awareness of the band’s work by drawing the attention of countless Dragonlance fans.

Let’s pick out a few strands of crimson gothic craziness from the album for you to playlist:-

Boogie Bubble

Here’s a bit of entertaining weirdness for you. Upon clouds of purple they ride, apparently. A pleasingly melodic rock song full of psychedelic imagery with a cheery upbeat tune which makes me smile when I hear it. Guitars a good, keyboards are interwoven skilfully, all combining with fun lyrics to give us a cheery song worthy of your attention.

Devil’s Diner

Gravelly voiced lyrics over a fast flowing upbeat tune. Proper old fashioned rock with the slightest hint of piano. This one is about that dire old Devil and the seating arrangements for dinner. Yes, really. Daft, harmless, funny and very entertaining.

Lady Rosenred

Wow! A light and cheery fantasy song. Magical, cheery, and every so faintly reminiscent of Blackmore’s Night. Dragons and fairies? Add in a rainbow and Ronnie James Dio would probably sing it. Sounds like a forgotten eighties classic, almost pop-rock even. Don’t be put off by the light hearted romatic fantasy theme, Lady Rosenred is very listenable and will stick in your head all day given half a chance. Say, will you dream of me tonight?

Raistlin and The Rose

Raistlin Majere – the dark-souled mage from the Dragonlance world, what with his dark sarcasm, golden skin burning feverishly and that immense lust for power. Not to mention the self sacrifice, the constant pain and the burning ambition. Ever tormented by pain and desire, the hourglass eyed mage pushes himself ever onwards, using and discarding everyone around him to further his own ends.

The Rose of the title is Lady Crysania, the pure, holier-than-though servant of light. She is also the key to Raistlin’s goal of world domination. And so Raist must corrupt her in order to further his own ends. All of which leads to a decent premise for a book trilogy, and thanks to a masterstroke by Lake of tears, an amazingly good track which is bound to delight the fans of Dragonlance and bring on feelings of nostalgia for those still lamenting the cancellation of Dragonlance after the series ran for twenty plus years and sold many millions of books and other materials. Anyone with fond memories of the twins Raistlin and Caramon, Tanis, Kitiara, Flint, Sturm, Tasslehoff, Laurana etc. Will want to listen to Raislin and The Rose.

The song kicks off with an interesting few seconds of guitar picking intro before expanding into a full blown blast of keyboard based goth rock replete with melodic crunchiness and entertaining lyrics. The tale is told from Raistlin’s point of view. “Pains, always those pains...”, “Unseen moon will show”, “Shadows and fever”... all themes which will evoke memories from those familiar with the trilogy as the mismatched pair trace their steps through history to meet their doom. For ‘Lancers it’s an awesome fantasy song, simply amazing even as it fades out with a hauntingly sad refrain.

Cover Art

Gorgeous! Trippin’ wizards sailing over stony land through a crimson landscape with Morrowind style mushrooms on the horizon. Like it.

Conclusion

Lake of Tears are a band you need to discover folks. A Crimson Cosmos is a wonderful collection of musical whimsy with a fantasy theme. The album is a sorely overlooked treat - go check it out!

Buy Now! Amazon UK: Buy CD | Buy MP3 / Amazon US: Buy CD | Buy MP3


Track List (may vary)

  • Boogie Bubble
  • Cosmic Weed
  • When my Sun Comes Down
  • Devil’s Diner
  • The Four Strings of Mourning
  • To Die is to Wake
  • Lady Rosenred
  • Raistlin and the Rose
  • A Crimson Cosmos