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WAKE Misery Rites

By Nathan Dufour, Great White North
Saturday, February 3, 2018 @ 11:02 AM


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WAKE
Misery Rites

2018, Translation Loss Records




Dictionary dot com defines “Wake”, in the second and third definitions thusly: “2. to become roused from a tranquil or inactive state; awaken; waken:to wake from one's daydreams.; 3.to become cognizant or aware of something; awaken; waken:to wake to the true situation.” In consideration of Calgary, Alberta’s WAKE, these descriptors could not be more apt. Grinding away anywhere they can for about the last ten years, WAKE function on brute force, distilling disparate elements into a caustic vision of aural devastation you simply cannot ignore. Welcome, then, to Misery Rites, technically the sophomore effort from Canada’s grind merchants in WAKE. Keep your eyes peeled, or they will do it for you.

Ominous and calamitous drums collide headlong with angular dissonance and a slowly smouldering vocal menace on lead in track “Exhumation”, WAKE seemingly intent on simply attempting to suffocate the listener before anything really gets going. It is a strange juxtaposition on which to bookend the album with but taken in context of the whole, makes total sense - life is a roller coaster. And it’s on fire.

From that viewpoint, Misery Rites is a different animal than its predecessor Sowing The Seeds Of A Worthless Tomorrow (Goddamn I still love that title). Everything here is thicker, the black smoke of endless cycles of despair and redemption clogging the throat of lead singer Kyle Ball, forcing the vocals to be at once feral and all too human. A tangible hand reaching out from the blackness, if you will. Make no mistake though, Wake are here peddling a very visceral and dangerous hybrid of straight grind, with post metal elements and a sense of melody wrestling in primordial sludge with competing interests of, well, sludge, but also death metal. Angular, all of it. Misery Rites is by no means an easy listen and there is a lot for the listener to soak in, whether by way of ambiance or a neat guitar trick or a tone that is somehow cavernous and warm at the same time. There is a lot here to chew on.

As with the best grind, Misery Rites is short and sweet, but the beating it provides does not come courtesy of blastbeat alone. There is an emotion heft contained in these songs that drips from the speakers and draws you into Wake’s world and provides clarity as seen through their collective vision. The over 7 minute closing track is perhaps one of my favorite songs of this year, and Misery Rites is already firmly entrenched as one of the best albums of 2018. Oh, Canada. Grind your mind.

4.5 Out Of 5.0






















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