Released: 2014, Self Released
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Contrary to my initial assumption, Pigeon Lake is in fact NOT a retirement community in South Florida. In actuality, they’re an Oslo based gothic/doom quartet, and a pretty competent one at that. Their sophomore album, TALES OF A MADMAN, bears resemblances to Katatonia, Anathema, Opeth, and maybe some TUONELA-era Amorphis, and serves up some a hefty dose of prog infused shoegaze.
The 8 tracks on TALES OF A MADMAN straddle the line between subtle, melodic melancholy, full blown riff aggression, and the occasional nu metal dalliance. But the dichotomy works well most of the time, as there’s a ton of diversity and character spread across the album. “Epiphany” rides a muted chug riff before exploding into vocal harmonies and an almost radio friendly chorus, while “Confrontation” and “Doubt” sound like they share some DNA with THE GREAT COLD DISTANCE. The highlight of TALES OF A MADMAN, though, is the 2-part closer “Absolution.” The pair best represent what Pigeon Lake is trying to accomplish, full of epic vocals, wide sweeping arrangements, death growls, string shred and a generally more concentrated sense of purpose set these tracks apart from their peers. Collectively though, the album is a success from start to finish – each track plays well against its predecessor, and there’s a consistent ambient thread that holds the whole thing together remarkably well.
Both from a performance and production standpoint, TALES OF A MADMAN sounds fantastic. The band never showboats with a lot of flash, but the notes are clean, precise, and determined. I approached Pigeon Lake without much in the way of expectations, but found myself really enjoying TALES OF A MADMAN. If any of the bands mentioned above are in your wheelhouse, you’ll definitely want to at least give Pigeon Lake a listen. TALES OF A MADAMN is available now to stream/purchase via Pigeon Lakes’ Bandcamp page.