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The Neonai SwedenCountry Of Origin: Sweden
Lake Of Tears - The Neonai

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MB Rating: 6.8
[2 Vote(s)]

User Rating: 7.7
[26 Vote(s)]
1.
Intro
2.
Return Of Ravens
3.
The Shadowshires
4.
Solitude
5.
Leave A Room
6.
Sorcerers
7.
Can Die No More
8.
Nathalie And The Fireflies
9.
Let Us Go As They Do
10.
Down The Nile
11.
Outro

Release Date: 2003
Label: Black Mark Production
Categories: Doom, Gothic, Folk
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7.7 out of 10 / 26 vote(s)


MetalBite Review by Jack on 4/29/2003
Now that we have the bright colors out of the way, onto the review... Lake of Tears were at one stage apparently a 'metal' band (you'll have to excuse me if you are a big fan of the band; I have absolutely no prior familiarity with them), but now have delved deep into an abyss of bright colors, and dare I say... pop commerciality. What does this mean in laymen's terms? "The Neonai" is a non-metal record, from what really does appear to be a non-metal band.

However for the sake of this review, I am surely not going to dismiss these folks for being non-metal. Hell no. Heaps of crap around the Metalbite block gets reviewed if it ain't metal. Doesn't mean its good, but it still gets reviewed.

"The Neonai" is frankly one of the most oddball records I have had the odd pleasure (or displeasure... still no idea yet) of listening to. The first time with Lake of Tears I was simply dumbfounded by the flower-power cover of "The Neonai." The second Lake of Tears experience I summoned enough courage to pop open the CD tray and slide the CD in. I have to give credit where credit is due here, and say that the music on "The Neonai" matches perfectly the sort of musical experience you would expect to receive from a cover that portrays magical birds, bright rainbows, smiling suns, green gnomes, blue rabbits and mushroom houses.

As much as I am opposed to the cover, I can't really fault the music too much. The production is crisp, the guitars are full, and the vocals powerful. A lazy attempt to describe Lake of Tears would place them in a moody 70s rock café with a lot of psychedelia happening. "The Neonai" has hints of a gothic undercurrent, so perhaps it may be a record that gothic folk could get into.

To buy or just fly on by? In most occasions I would recommend the latter option, but there is an aura about Lake of Tears (albeit a shiny and happy halo) that begs a listen at least. Lake of Tears have a knack of writing some material that is actually addictive as it is sadistic. On your own head be it...

Bottom Line: If hippies and bright colors are your thing, then you could really do with a blown up copy of "The Neonai" cover. It would look ace (seriously, this record just demands to be pulled out a peace party protest over the illegal logging of a protected rainforest: it just has 'pacifist' written all over it). However, if trees, weed, birds, rainbows, and the 'environment' aren't your cup of eco-friendly tea then "The Neonai" should be approached with a bit of caution. There are some nice moments, but possibly a wee few and far between to promote any real emphasis on a possible purchase.

Categorical Rating Breakdown

Musicianship: 6
Atmosphere: 7
Production: 7
Originality: 6
Overall: 5

Rating: 6.2 out of 10

MetalBite Review by Jacobo on 8/28/2003
It is a pleasure to have in my hands a new release from the always-entertaining Lake of Tears. "The Neonai" is another great offering from the Swedes, but I have to say that after listening to it several times, it is still far away from their greatest opus, "Headstones", which in my opinion will never be surpassed by the band.

"The Neonai" starts with a good keyboard intro used to present 'The Return of the Ravens' (familiar song title?), which is a melodic rock / metal song that has the typical Lake of Tears sound. This sound is maintained throughout the CD with no exception, aspect which is related Jennie Teblers unique voice pitch and of course, the bands composition.

Other great songs are 'The Shadowshires,' 'Sorcerers,' for its great dreamy atmosphere and female vocal delivery, and 'Nathalie and the Fireflies,' which has a very 80's / Pink Floydish feel and shows the richness that LOF can print in their music. Listen to the hidden track, you will be surprised.

This time the band decided to change the live sound they presented in "Forever Autumn" for a more produced and modern one, but don't worry, it is good but different. If I had to criticize something in this department, it would be the drums, I really hate drum machines for their linear and artificial sound and "The Neonai" has them.

As I mentioned before, from the beginning you can tell that Lake of Tears is sounding through your speakers. This time they decided to incorporate some electronic elements in to their songs and this really raised the quality of the overall product (maybe we could hear more on the next one).

The fifth release from Lake of Tears is a good CD that will appeal to the old fans, but will definitely not gain new ones. They prove once again that you can write catchy songs with simple riffs. For the next one we hope to hear a little more experimentation guys. See you in Ravenland.

Bottom Line: An OK Lake of Tears CD that only proves how far away "Headstones II" really is.

Categorical Rating Breakdown:

Musicianship: 7
Originality: 8
Atmosphere: 8
Production: 7
Overall: 7

Rating 7.4 out of 10