Sunday 1 March 2020

ALBUM REVIEW: Wake, "Devouring Ruin"

By: Josh McIntyre

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 27/03/2020
Label: Translation Loss

“Devouring Ruin” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Dissolve And Release
2. Kana Tevoro (Kania! Kania!)
3. This Abyssal Plain
4. Elegy
5. Mouth Of Abolition
6. Paean
7. Torchbearer
8. In The Lair Of The Rat Kings
9. Monuments to Impiety
10. The Procession (Death March To Eternity)

The Review:

Calgary’s Wake has certainly proven themselves to be a band that doesn’t want to repeat itself. Their sound has always been a bit more varied than others and with 2020’s “Devouring Ruin” it is made absolute that Wake cannot be defined as just grindcore or even deathgrind as they pull from other heavy subgenres more than ever before. The result is their strongest LP to date.

Wake is still incredibly aggressive, but we have more variance than ever. The average song length has increased dramatically (earlier, more strictly grind albums had songs that rarely reached three minutes) giving more time for riffs to twist and turn as they travel across time. Track three, “This Abyssal Plain”, is just one example of drastic tempo changes as it starts with a fury before being suddenly slogged down into a more doomy and atmospheric approach. These songs are unpredictable and that makes them all the more interesting, whether they be two minutes long or ten and a half.

Musical ideas are aplenty and Wake isn’t running out of gas anytime soon. Blasting grind with thrashy riffs are as prevalent as melodic doom licks. The riffs for “In the Lair of the Rat Kings” are especially disgusting, pulling from the Artificial Brain/Gorguts world. Hell, there’s even a great guitar solo on “Mouth of Abolition” and I usually detest guitar solos. In short, there is plenty of time to have your face ripped apart on this album but the juxtaposed moments of euphonious purpose give it the clarity needed to be a grand extreme metal record.

Wake’s refusal for stagnation has set them apart from their peers. After a handful of LPs and shorter releases they continue to grow and stay musically curious, a rarity for an extreme band over a decade old. They’ve gradually moved from a more grindcore oriented group to one that brilliantly fuses different elements of metal to create music that is able to be simultaneously violent and downright ravishing. 

“Devouring Ruin” is available HERE

Band info: bandcamp || facebook