Calgary, Alberta’s WAKE are torchbearers of a specific dissonant, dark and experimental brand of grindcore that reminds of acts as diverse as Napalm Death, Brutal Truth, Discordance Axis and perhaps most of all, the late, great Nasum. It’s in the Nasum influence where this record, their third, truly shines. Channeling all the darkly melodic guitar lines and song structures they can, WAKE have crafted an album that not only does justice to the legacy of a fondly remember, gone too soon extreme metal band, but carve a niche all their own in the grindcore genre.
Any die-hard fan of progressive rock/metal should know this album by now: Porcupine Tree’s In Absentia—arguably the best album the band has put out to date. But while Porcupine Tree is on hiatus, and Steven Wilson’s general focus has shifted to his solo work (and a Blackfield album that he had little to no input on), one can’t forget the impact that this album has had on the rock and metal community. In Absentia was a lot of things for a lot of people. It arguably blurred the lines between prog rock and metal. It set a new standard for what Steven Wilson and his band were capable of musically. And it remains one of the seminal progressive albums of the modern era.
*prognotes breaks down and analyses your favourite metal and progressive concept albums lyrically and musically. Read other entries in this series here. Welcome back to our *prognotes on Mastodon’s Crack the Skye! For those that missed it, you can read Part I here, but let’s just get straight back into…
The death metal scene has really seemed to fully embrace the genre’s muddier, grimier, and quirkier side over the past several years, which may be partly due to the reunion of one of the sub-subgenres most important figures, Gorguts. When you consider how ultra-quantized the tech death scene had gotten in recent times, it probably needed to happen. A lot of newer bands have foregone a slicker approach for something much more earthy, slime-soaked and caustic, and it may go without saying that bands like Ulcerate, Artificial Brain and Portal have been writing some of the style’s most exciting new material as of late.