Brotherhood Of The Lake Desperation Is The English Way Vol. 2

Plymouth's own purveyors of slow and doom filled hardcore are back with their third full length, the second in succession called Desperation Is The English Way. Whilst I have not been given the lyrics, I don't doubt it is quite the social commentary. Music wise they don't ever stray too far away from the style they have developed - part downbeat, downtuned misery, part interlude riff that demonstrates that this lot know how to right a good 'un.

The 8 tracks on here all have their own charm - confusingly opener Untie The Tempest seems to me to be one of two or three weaker tracks on the record - but the sonic desperation is a common theme throughout. Interestingly, the band are at their best when the intensity is dropped for a while and a riff is given time to breathe and build. For me, mid-album song Black Gates is the best thing on offer here - a slow and atmospheric build up, complete with female, gothic sounding vocals, before a ferocious kick in. If there is one criticism here, it is a lack of tempo change and a kick up to a gear the band don't quite like to go to - less is more and all that - but when atmosphere is mixed with heaviness, then BOTL do hit the mark excellently.

This band will probably forever be cursed with the feeling that you either like what they do or you don't (you know what I mean, for fuck's sake) - it's very one paced stuff - but you cannot fault Desperation Is The English Way Vol. 2 for offering up the kind of downbeat heaviness that will put a smile on the kind of face that generally loves this kind of thing. It's just a tiny bit too one dimensional at times, that's all. And that is not always a bad thing.