ALBUM REVIEW: My Silent Wake ‘Damnatio Memoriae’

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MY SILENT WAKE
‘Damnatio Memoriae’
House Of Ashes, 2015
9/10

This is death-doom out of the top drawer – fantastic riffs and great melodies put together by people who know exactly how to get the best results out of a strong composition. You can’t beat experience, and My Silent Wake have been doing this for a decade.

Well, they’ve been doing something a bit like this, at least. Their last couple of releases have been acoustic / ambient affairs, but perhaps all of that instrumental tomfoolery reinvigorated the band’s passion for heaviness. This album is similar to 2013’s enjoyable ‘Silver Under Moonlight’ in that it is good old-fashioned death-doom metal, but ‘Damnatio Memoriae’ is bigger, bolder, brighter and more hefty. It’s packed with instant favourites, such as ‘Of Fury’, “And So It Comes To An End’ and ‘The Innocent’, which dig their formidable claws into the mush of your addled brain and consume you.

The album was recorded at Priory Studios, UK, with Esoteric’s Greg Chandler, who adds some guest vocals into the mix, while Martin Bowes’ charming synths add depth and atmosphere. Each song is packed with goodness, making each one a rich and rewarding experience in its own right. Together, the eight tracks combine to form a consistently impressive and cohesive offering.

Ian Arkley’s vocals are pretty feral, a perfect match for the lean and cruel riffs. At times he sounds like an undead version of Nick Holmes, and there is undoubtedly a classic, early 90s death-doom feel to the album, without ever sounding dated. In fact, Paradise Lost would probably be proud to call ‘Damnatio Memoriae’ their own – it’s considerably stronger then most of their own output in recent times.

‘Damnatio Memoriae’ is a masterful album that My Silent Wake should feel extremely proud of – it’s full to bursting with deathly, Gothic-hued brilliance and the quality never lets up. Far from silent, and more of a rebirth than a wake, this is My Silent Wake sounding better than ever.

My Silent Wake are running a Pledge Music crowdfunder to get the album out on vinyl:
http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/msw-damnatiomemoriae/pledgers

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