My Silent Wake hails from the south west of England and was founded in 2005 by Ian Arkley. He was also in Seventh Angel (1987-1992 & later resurrected in 2008) and Ashen Mortality (1993-2004). MSW specialises in gothic doom and has released ‘Shadow Of Sorrow’ (2006), The Anatomy Of Melancholy’ (2007), ‘A Garland Of Tears’ (2008), ‘IV Et Lux Perpetua’ (2010), ‘Silver Under Midnight’ (2013) and ‘Damnatio Memoriae’ (2015).
‘Eye Of The Needle’ sees them embracing their dark ambient/experimental side.
It was recorded and mixed in Weston super Mare and Coventry, UK during 2014. Parts of the album were chosen for the soundtrack to the recent Neil Johnson film ‘Doomsday’. Stone Groove Records originally released it as a download only album but it proved popular enough to justify this brand new CD release. Most of the album came about from improvisations over bass riffs from Addam Westlake (Striga) and also features Kate Hamilton on keyboards and vocals, with a guest keyboard appearance from Martin Bowes (Attrition).
This could be described as the musical equivalent of an Edgar Allan Poe tale. ‘A Death’ laments the loss of a loved one and seems to further instill distress with its constant repetition of a single elongated utterance. There is the short, but sinister, encounter with loneliness in ‘Solitudo’. Then there is a reworking of ‘Hunting Season’ (from ‘Shadow of Sorrow’) with Kate Hamilton’s barely whispered vocals only just breaking the surface, like the faintest ripples on a lake. The guitar-work emerges and embraces Ian’s sombre vocals in an epic performance imbued with grief and despair.
Next is a reworking of ‘Rebirth’ (from ‘Black Lights & Silent Roads’) which is led by a sonorous bass intertwined by a classical keyboard and resonant guitar soundscape. There is a requiem to the age of the steam train in ‘Fumus Memorialis’, which is followed by the brightly shining star in the firmament with the vibrant ‘Silver’. Finally, there is ‘Three Furies’ that nearly touches twenty two minutes. It is a reference to Greek mythology and the female chthonic deities of vengeance, the Erinyes or infernal goddesses. In the Iliad they are described as “those who beneath the earth punish whosoever has sworn a false oath”.
On a final note, to celebrate ten years of MSW, a new compilation is being put together for a December 2015 release.
Reviewed by Peter John Willoughby
1. A Death
3. Hunting Season II
4. Rebirth II
5. Fumus Memorialis
7. Three Furies
MSW line-up for ‘Eye Of The Needle:
Ian Arkley – vocals, percussion and guitar
Addam Westlake – bass
Kate Hamilton – keys and vocals
Martin Bowes – guest keys
Lyrics by Ian Arkley and Kate Hamilton.
My Silent Wake, EP 
Shadow Of Sorrow 
The Anatomy of Melancholy 
Sturm/Storm Promo DVD 
A Garland of Tears 
Black Lights & Silent Roads, Split 
IV Et Lux Perpetua 
Rare and Live Recordings. Vol.1, Compilation 
Acoustic Collection, Compilation 
Silver Under Midnight 
Empyrean Rose, Split 
Preservation Restoration Reconstruction 
Eye of the Needle 
Damnatio Memoriae 
Record Label: Stone Groove Records, Nov. 2015
Video below: “Eye of the Needle” (Album Trailer)
Video below: ‘A Death’