MY SILENT WAKE - Damnatio Memoriae

My Silent Wake - Damnatio Memoriae

8 songs
54:55 minutes
***** ***
House Of Ashes


British doom metal band My Silent Wake has been active since 2005, and has released since then quite a lot of material. Damnatio Memoriae is already the eighth longplayer of a band who has otherwise published furthermore quite a few EPs, splits, singles and compilations with rare tracks. And yet this is the first time I have come across My Silent Wake, but their busy past made me eager to check out their current effort.

The bandís focal point is vocalist/guitarist Ian Arkley who was playing in the Nineties with Seventh Angel who had quite a reputation in the doom metal underground. The opener Of Fury of the new album by My Silent Wake is a ponderous affair which incrementally builds up momentum, gradually becoming angrier and finally ending in quite a stirring way. The following Highwire is a rawer track that adds thrash metal influences. Fine riffs and an overall catchiness make this a winner. How It Destroys is the albumís first real highlight. Starting as a classic doom track, the song becomes weirder and weirder until it ends in a Voivod-ish way. The first three tracks sound all very different, and it soon becomes clear that the remaining five songs also have no intention of repeating patterns. Many different emotions like anger, grief, fear and despair run through the album whose main ingredient is still doom metal. Nevertheless the songs always have room for other elements. The bandís more surprising moments can be heard on the very metal sounding The Innocent and the stoner infused Chaos Enfolds Me. The albumís tour de force is undoubtedly the nearly fourteen minute long The Empty Unknown which is downright old school doom. The pace changes go from slow to very slow to incredibly slow. Ian Arkleyís vocals sound as if coming straight from a dark crypt, which gives the music an even darker touch.

Damnatio Memoriae has turned out to be an excellent album. If you like doom metal and are also open for other influences, you should consider yourself interested. Nevertheless you should know that My Silent Wake are not reinventing the genre. Legends like Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride have pioneered the genre. And still the new record by My Silent Wake is a successful affair that you should definitely check out.

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