Release DetailsLABEL Candlelight
RELEASED ON 4/4/2006
posted on 6/2006 By:
Finland’s The Wake released an enjoyable melodic death album back in 2003 that sounded far more influenced by their neighbors to the west than the typical Finn fare. They took a few pages out of the Gothenburg playbook, but paid a decent tribute to the sound, with a strong dose of melodic guitarwork. On their sophomore album, they’ve taken their sound in a heavier direction, although plenty of the melodic leads and solos remain.
Intro noise eventually leads into a sharp rhythm riff that turns thrashy. Intense drumming gives a sense of urgency to the song, maintain the pace even through a noodly chorus. Kaj’s voice is a constant shout that is mixed too prominently, to the point where it can get a little grating on the ears. “One More Day” is an interesting track, with a very melodic, harmonized main riff. Upbeat melodic death tracks always pique my interest, because that music just shouldn’t go with those vocals, and yet it works. Certain songs like “Downward Groove” throw off a Callenish Circle vibe of steady, hard-hitting Gothenburg riffage. “Good for Nothing” is another mid-paced stomper with some sweet melodies, accentuated by an excellently-executed solo. The main aspect of The Wake’s sound that holds them back from the upper echelons is that they pick 2 or 3 riffs per song and ride them to death. Now I realize that can be said of many other similar bands, but they usually have vocals that add some variety. The solos are aces, and they manage to wring some creative riffs out from the usual template used and abused by Scandinavian bands for a decade.
Melodic death heads will certainly find this worthy of their collection, and that endorsement comes from someone who soaks up anything with harmonized leads and half-thrash backing. The songwriting doesn’t have as much staying power as a Dark Tranquillity or Detonation, but they are certainly on the same plane as contemporaries like The Duskfall and Enforsaken, both in style and ability. Give these Finns a shot if you’re not yet completely saturated with melodic death metal.
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