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Wake – Thought Form Descent Award winner

Wake
Thought Form Descent
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 06 August 2022, 3:34 PM

WAKE is an extreme metal band from Canada who formed in 2009.  Over the years, they have gone from a grind core sound to a more black/death combination.  “Thought Form Descent,” is their six full length album; they have also released two Eps and three splits. As with their last few releases, this album has a variety of moods.  It can be extremely aggressive then switch to atmospheric passages at the drop of a hat.  To WAKE’s credit, these changes don’t come off sporadic, uneven or spontaneous.  These wavering moods and style, both among the songs and within the songs themselves, is much more meticulous and deliberate.

That isn’t to say they are repeating themselves.  Sure, this album comes off a foundation they have been building up to for some time but this particular journey is more layered, detailed and colorful than what has gone before.  Basically, this takes the ideas presented in their previous full length and EP, and solidifies them even more into their sound. The album begins with “Infinite Inward,” and is a perfect example of what I’ve been talking about.  Simple but smooth ambient textures bubble up in the song’s open moments as clean tones and snare ramp up the energy.  A melodic curtain falls, covering the landscape with beautiful yet heavy aspects.  The blackened vocals rip through it all, bolstered by the tight, frantic yet focused drumming.

The raw energy of black metal meets the straight forward brutality of death metal as the song hurdles forward.  But the detailed textures and soundscapes are mixed in, adding depth and wonderment to the proceedings. “Swallow The Light,” gets to the point right away with added groove from the bass and guitars.  The melodies are swift, the pace urgent while the hammer it all end while steering the song.  The vocals are especially venomous, going from deep growls to harrowing screams as they ebb and flow with the song’s changing tempo. The later half of the song finds the guitars becoming more riff based while adding in lush tones. The last couple minutes of the song are epic, the band cascading into one huge wall of sound that is as destructive as it is immovable.

Observer To Master,” is one part searing defiance and another part somber elegy.  The first two and a half minutes or so are blackened as hell—definitely one of the album’s heaviest passages.  Clean guitars take over afterwards but the blackened screams and growls remain, the band doing a fine job in living in two worlds at once. The rest of the song is all crescendo, soaring instrumentation that rises to the top to meet once ore with the band’s fury. The album should have ended on the next track, “Bleeding Eyes of The Watcher,” as it is a nearly nine minute min epic that displays everything great about the album.  The actual final track is a short instrumental called “The Translation of Deaths,” that seems more like an intro than a finality. With that being said, the song is a solid instrumental.

But “Bleeding…” is the best song on the album and one of their best songs, period.  The riff bases song structure gives it the feeling of having an endless form but it functions on every level imaginable.  The band doesn’t get lost in their own sound, the song using all their best elements yet not overdoing it or sticking to just one aspect for too long. All in all, WAKE’sThought Form Descent,” is another shining jewel in their increasingly incredible discography.  Extreme metal fans will find much to enjoy here but this album will also appeal to others who expect more out of their metal.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Infinite Inward
2. Swallow The Light
3. Morning Dirge (Repose of the Dead)
4. Pareidolia
5. Venerate (The Undoing of All)
6. Observer To Master
7. Bleeding Eyes of the Watcher
8. The Translation of Deaths
Lineup:
Josh Bueckert – Drums
Arjun Gill – Guitars
Rob LaChance – Guitars
Kyle Bass – Vocals
Ryan Kennedy - Bass
Record Label: Metal Blade Records
     


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Edited 18 August 2022
 

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