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My Silent Wake: There Was Death

It's fair to suggest that this album is an extended meditation on death. The song titles alone make that clear. But if you listen to this album, you'll find that the its more than just another handful of songs about death. Instead, this album examines death from multiple perspectives all at once. Listening to it is a little like attending a funeral; it makes you grateful for every breath while also provoking anger, wonder, and despair about death itself. There's no end to extreme metal bands that reflect on death, but My Silent Wake stands out from the pack, especially on this album. If you listen, you'll hear a series of reflections that are insightful and provocative. If you listen to any of this album, check out "Ghosts of Parlous Lives," "No End to Sorrow," and "An End to Suffering." "Ghost of Parlous Lives" is especially gut wrenching.

My Silent Wake is known for taking musical risks and never quite settling into any one sound or style. I think most people would describe them as a doom metal act-a fair label, but not as accurate as you might think. Doom is only the beginning. Every album is a little different than the one before it. I like hearing those differences, especially since the band isn't reinventing itself so much on as it is letting the music take the lead. Most listeners will probably agree this album one of the band's heaviest. It is also more meditative.

Lyrically, the songs on this album draw out different shades of meaning about death. At times, the words long for the grave while also pushing against it. The resulting tension comes across best as a powerful interplay between vocal styles. Ian Arkley's vocals are especially strong on this album. He brings real emotional power to his performance. He is frequently joined by Greg Chandler of Esoteric who provides guest growls and screams. And then there are those female vocals in the background that add another layer of sadness and reflection. For me, they were the most gut-wrenching and the most comforting of the bunch.

I've listened to this album multiple times over the last few days and I like it better every time. There's a great deal going on in each track and you'll definitely want to pay attention while you listen. As I write this, I've been going back through multiple tracks, including "Ghosts of Parlous lives" and "Walls Within Walls" and I'm hearing more than I did before. I'm going to be listening to this album frequently over the next several weeks. It is captivating and powerful. If you're curious about this album, check out the last two tracks, "No End to Sorrow" and "An End to Suffering." They make a nice pairing and capture much of what makes this album so good. If you want to hear more, check out "A Dying Man's Wish" and "Ghosts of Parlous Lives."

If you are a fan of heavy music laden with sorrow, look no further. Highly recommended.

Track Listing:
1. A Dying Man's Wish
2. Damnatio Memoriae
3. Killing Flaw
4. Ghosts of Parlous Lives
5. Mourning the Loss of the Living
6. There Was Death
7. Walls Within Walls
8. No End to Sorrow
9. An End to Suffering

Added: February 17th 2018
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1447
Language: english

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