Hailing from south west England, My Silent Wake, the acclaimed death/doomsters are back with their tenth full length studio album “There was Death”. The album was recorded, mixed and mastered at 13 Sound in Somerset and Priory Studios in Sutton Coldfield with doom legend Greg Chandler of Esoteric; and released on the 16th of February 2018 under the label of Minotauro Records. The cover print for the album was done by renowned Finnish artist Juha Vuorma.
The band was formed in 2005 by founder member Ian Arkley of Seventh Angel / Ashen Mortality features a variety of musicians(Guest growls and screams from Greg), and is said to be one of the heaviest of their records till date. Having toured extensively in Europe with Norway’s In Vain, Draconian, The Vision Bleak and Saturnus in the past, My Silent Wake has appeared on split albums with The Drowning and Pylon.
The album opens up with “A Dying Man’s Wish” with ploughing chords, heavy guitar riffing and monster growls pulverizing the grey of your head. The subdued deathly growls in the backdrop and the keys play a crucial role in setting up immense doom element right at the outset. The song takes a dramatic and morbid shift as the protagonist finally acknowledges and reaches his end (of life). “Damnatio Memoriae” carries on with the atmospheric soundscape and explains the journey of a soul passing through death as all memory is erased from time, a truly magnificent song with so much depth.
Next up, the bass flares with an eerie backdrop on keys in the “Killing Flaw”. The song progresses on to a thrashing rhythm with guitars and drums jumping in and giving the song agility. The dead man’s journey through hell, with voices running and conflicting in his head puts one in dismay. “Ghosts of Parlous Lives” starts off with a beautiful piece on the keys leaves no stone unturned to make you truly engrossed in this journey, the song takes a heavier shift and speaks of the injustice the protagonist as a Ghost witnesses and all his anger leaving him helpless and cursed, and closes the songs on heavier and repetitive guitar chugs.
“Mourning the Loss of the Living” acts as an interlude pushing right into “There was Death”. I have to admit at this point that the songwriting on this album (with its well-articulated lyrics) makes for a killer Doom concept album. Although I didn’t experience differing musical styles I was impressed with the concept. “Walls within Walls” picks up pace with its thrashing blast beats and old school guitar riffs making it one of the heaviest songs on the album. No wonder this songs gives me the gooseflesh and takes me back to a sound similar to that of early 90s.
“No Sorrow to End” starts off clean and blends in with a distorted vocals and guitars seamlessly. The album ends with “An End to suffering”, which gives a scintillating breather to what sounds to my ears like a Santoor (A classical Indian String instrument) being played in a heavy metal setup.
Production : The album is mixed, mastered and produced well, with all the instruments getting a fair share on the record. The sounds are balanced and tight.
Conclusion : Although some of the songs were longer than usual, My Silent wake used it to their advantage by plunging in melody and soundscape to make this album sound so Eerie (which it needs to be). This is a treat for all the Doomsters!
Written by: Ankit Sood
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
Ian Arkley – vocals and guitar
Addam Westlake – bass
Gareth Arlett – drums
Simon Bibby – keys and vocals
Greg Chandler – additional keys, vocals
Mike Hitchen – live guitars
Video (audio) for ‘Walls Within Walls’