Eric Wagner – In the Lonely Light of Mourning (Cruz del Sur Music)

Monday, 14th March 2022
Rating: 8.5 / 10

Vocalist Eric Wagner sadly passed away on August 22, 2021 – but fortunately for the world who loved this man’s unique voice, he was able to finish his latest solo album with In the Lonely Light of Mourning. Best known for his stellar work in Trouble, it shouldn’t be surprising that these eight songs tap into that doomy, brooding melancholy that has been ever-present since first hearing his vocals on the early 80’s demos circulating in the underground tape trading scene. Assembling musicians that Eric knew and played with throughout his history, it’s a testament to the boundless energy and legacy that may close one chapter in the books yet won’t be lost or soon forgotten.

Thick, bluesy-driven riffs match seamlessly to the soulful, deep register of Eric’s range – his natural ability to just set up the words with airy emotional resonance comes through on standard affairs like “Rest in Place” and “Isolation”, while being appropriately restrained in a calmer, lower delivery for “If You Lost It All” (featuring cello passages from Brian Gaona). The swinging doom groove from various bassists and drummers (which include ex-Trouble mates Ron Holzner, Sean McAllister, and Dave Snyder) prove that the players have studied, consumed, and processed the greats of the 60’s/70’s to put their skills on display in the best framework possible. Ending the record on a relative up-tempo, chugging note for “Wish You Well”, this record illustrates the staying power of doom metal, put through some heavy rock and semi-psychedelic contexts.

Great music has the power to connect, heal, and allow us to survive through many facets of life. Rest in peace, Eric – this record gives the world eight more solid songs that cement themselves in your mastery of thoughtful, classic doom metal.

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