Wake started out as a grindcore act with a lot of Nasum influences. Nasum being one of my favorite grind bands that was never a big issue for me. It did not take very long to find a voice of their own though. The band added more and more sludge influences on each release. An odd combination, but it worked for them. As you can read in the review I wrote about Misery Rites I am a fan of the strange beast they created.
When I heard the band had recorded a new album I immediately asked for the promo. Before pushing play I had a look at the track list and was a bit surprised. Did it say there’s a ten minutes track on this album? And that is not even the only long track. There’s another three tracks that take five minutes or more to tell their tale. That's odd for a grindcore band, isn't it? Every album lasted a couple minutes longer than the one before. This time around, Wake added 50% more music. Devouring Ruin lasts 45 minutes. The great thing about this: not a minute is wasted.
So, looking at the tracklist I suspected the band had evolved even further, not being content with recording an album sounding like the one before. I was right about that. The sludge influences that demanded more attention on each album until now are gone. Wake has gone shopping and found a couple of post genres. The sludge may be gone, but there are still slower parts incorporated in their sound. Only this time around they have a real post-metal vibe. Again not an obvious genre to combine with grind, but Wake does know how to go effortlessly from one genre to another.
That is not the only genre-hopping that Wake is up to. They have discovered post-black metal as well. On “This Abyssal Plain” and “Monuments To Impiety” I hear melodies I connect with bands like The Great Old Ones. The strongest post-black vibe I get on “Torchbearer” which is almost full out black. I say almost, because Wake is at its core still a grindcore band.
A change of style like Wake is doing will win them some fans, and lose them some as well. For those that don’t like all those sludge or post-influences there is some good news, the shorter songs, especially “In The Lair Of The Rat Kings” there is no searching for grindcore. It’s full on grind! The song may be a tad longer than the classic Wake sound. Less Nasum, more Napalm Death. In the other songs the grind is spliced with the DNA of other genres, fighting for it’s rightful place at Wake’s table.
Where I thought the production of Misery Rites, the previous album, was very dense, thus fitting the sludge influences (Primitive Man style), this album has a slightly lighter sound. This give the album a bit more space to breathe. This really helps support the change in sound.
When I listen to this type of music I tend not to focus too much on the lyrics, but more on the feeling they try to bring across. The most obvious thing considering the grind roots is anger. I also sense a sort of disillusionment, a sadness. Reading the promo-sheet this seems about right. Where Misery Rites dealt with the self destructive patterns of singer Kyle Ball, this album deals with the ghosts of all that he left behind and the wake of self-defeat. I can only hope outing his feelings like this helps him cope with this.
Devouring Ruin is another step on the interesting evolution of Wake. I am curious what territory the band is going to explore next. For now, I can only hope Translation Loss has worked on its distribution in Europe. It wasn’t easy getting my hands on a copy of Misery Rites a couple of years ago.
Posted Jan. 27, 2019, 11:59 a.m.
Blackened grindcore band Wake will decend on the USA begninning April 2 in Chicago, leading the band through the US and Canada throughout the month of April. The band released ...
Posted March 3, 2013, 8:29 p.m.
Give Praise Records will release a split 7" between Wake and Rehashed soon. A song from each band is included below, and check out the Rehashed upcoming tour dates as ...
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