Rwake
Voices of Omens


4.5
superb

Review

by LifeInABox USER (23 Reviews)
January 6th, 2008 | 133 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Rewriting the Sludge Metal genre

Sludge metal seems to be frequently birthed from the uterus of the South. It seems that every time I go looking for a new artist to further my interest in the genre, their origins are confined to the area around the Carolinas down to Louisiana. Taking a look from that perspective, Rwake has already distinguished themselves from the pack of fellow doom metallers. Their fresh, intricate sound is just icing on the cake. Forget everything you know about this style of music. Rwake has, over the span of their 10 year career, revolutionized their sound, a breath of fresh air into a genre that needed something contrary to:

a.) Droning, dismal, downbeat chanting
b.) Soaring vocals and epic lyrics
c.) Fuzzy, doped up ranting
d.) Churning deep South yelling

The closest thing to any of the above that Rwake “adheres” to (in the loosest sense of the word) would be point d. Yelling, growling, screaming, and layering all could be a fine fit to describe the vocal performance on Voices Of Omens. A major contributor to the varied sound, the vocals are tightly executed by both lead vocalist C.T, and moog player, B. The layering of the vocals is pieced together perfectly, on this album. Echoing and raspy yelps couple the deeper, more powerful growls with strength, leading to a very strong vocal performance all around.

An aspect, of which Rwake has used extensively on their last two releases and have clearly perfected, is the practice of using cool, haunting acoustic melodies underlying crushing distorted pounding. The use of the acoustic guitar adds an extra layer of melody to an already melody enriched environment. It really is quite astounding to hear kind of a physically ugly band create such beautiful music, yet have it leave a lasting impact on listeners. I liken it to a reed basket; woven together, one by one, with each reed helping to strengthen and complete the basket. Each individual melody glues itself to one another to create a woven basket, while by themselves they are only a fraction of the total compilation. This “basket” formula can really be chalked up to the remarkable songwriting done on the album. The album itself can even be described as a basket, the songs themselves being reeds, making up the big picture of what should be seen by the experience of the album as a whole. Because of this dynamic songwriting, the songs fly by in what seems like an instant. 7 minute songs end what feels like right after they begin. 9 minute songs jump by before you can even engage fully. The only way to truly comprehend the grace and power of this album is many repeated listens. Never do the songs drag or even slow past their moderate pace. Had the album been twice as long, I still highly doubt that it would ever drag in the slightest.

Though I believe Voices Of Omens is truly meant to be a melodic listening experience, it has its share of equally heavy moments. Because of the normally slow tempos, heavy riffs come easily and fit well with the speed. Usually simple, yet very effective progressions cohere the willowy acoustic passages together. The true core of the album rests with its melodious pieces, as opposed to the more beaten path of keeping the music heavy and having the melodies brighten the listen. The parts that are heavy on this album showcase quite well that the band can make a distinctly heavy album if they wanted to. It’s almost like they are using a strong sense of self control, enough to keep an incredibly sound musical environment intact, yet not to have a lazy, held back sound.

Truly, Voices Of Omens has the alternative to the normal sludge sound, and I can honestly say I totally prefer it. This is one of the prime examples of what this genre can be stretched to. It’s so original, it’s so fresh. It hasn’t been done at this level before. The bar that was set on earlier albums has now been set even higher. To top this album would be creating the perfect specimen of musical genius, not just in sludge metal, but in metal in general. I don’t see this record’s play counts stopping their ascent anytime soon on my Itunes. Rwake has taken 2007 in metal, and turned it on its head, making a genre defying and genre defining album, all in one.

Recommended Tracks
Leviticus
Of Grievous Abominations
The Finality
The Lure Of Light




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user ratings (96)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
LifeInABox
January 6th 2008


3708 Comments


I guess that what you call someon who works the moog

rattlehead42147
January 6th 2008


1345 Comments


I've not heard this, Harry. I'm not huge on sludge but i might look into it.

as far as the review:
NEG

LifeInABox
January 6th 2008


3708 Comments


Eff you man. You and your stupid honkey ness. God, I hate white people, like you. I hate you.

jrowa001
January 6th 2008


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good review. never heard of this band, but i am interested

ColdDamnation
January 7th 2008


159 Comments


seriously, if you like this kind of music at all...here's some of the best of it:

and breaking away from the mold, Tides - from Rhode Island

http://www.myspace.com/tidesrites

and North - from Arizona...they toured with Giant, they were also entirely an instrumental band until just awhile ago, they released a rough demo with vocals on it. their finished stuff is much clearer though...deffinitely some of the cleanest sludge I've ever heard...sludge is not a word that describes them.

http://www.myspace.com/northistaken





BallsToTheWall
January 7th 2008


44405 Comments


Good review. I really like what i've heard. Plan on buying this soon.

Digging: She Past Away - Belirdi Gece

Confessed2005
January 7th 2008


3314 Comments


Sweet review. My friend mentioned this band to me, said as I liked Kylesa I should check them out.

LifeInABox
January 7th 2008


3708 Comments


Thanks, man

LifeInABox
January 7th 2008


3708 Comments


Blah, apparently no intrest lies with this band.

BallsToTheWall
January 7th 2008


44405 Comments


Leviticus slays. Going to look for this tomorrow.

Wizard
January 8th 2008


19409 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Your reviews are getting way better Hbp. You nailed this album's description bang on (especially how you talked about the haunting acoustic guitars layered in). Just curiously asking, how many times have you listened to this album? I bought this back in the summer and it got old fast after listening to it about 5 times. I don't think the replay value is great with this album.

Digging: Khonsu - Traveller

Crimson
January 8th 2008


1935 Comments


Blah, apparently no intrest lies with this band.
lol, try reading some of my reviews where there are about three different people who post and that's it. I however, have no interest in this whatsoever. Good review though

LifeInABox
January 8th 2008


3708 Comments


Your reviews are getting way better Hbp. You nailed this album's description bang on (especially how you talked about the haunting acoustic guitars layered in). Just curiously asking, how many times have you listened to this album? I bought this back in the summer and it got old fast after listening to it about 5 times. I don't think the replay value is great with this album.
8 or 9 times in the last 3 weeks. To me, it never gets old :thumb:

Wizard
January 8th 2008


19409 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ok, just wondering if you listened to this album once and then reviewed it. I guess some sludge metal is not my cup of tea.

LifeInABox
January 8th 2008


3708 Comments


No, I try not to ever do that. I did with some of my earliest reviews, but not for the like 15 or so.

jrowa001
January 26th 2008


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wow i finally got around to listening to this this morning! its pretty damn good. if i ever made a best of 2007 list i wouldve edited this in there

SteelErectedb4you8er
November 1st 2009


2616 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

To me, this record is a classic. A perfect example of southern sludge blending beautiful and dark melodies, slow grooves, and it is just dirty. Listening to this album, I feel like I am in Arkansas on a stormy night running away from a tornado. Everything about this album rules. "Leviticus" and "Of Grevious Abominations" are the standout tracks.

SteelErectedb4you8er
December 11th 2009


2616 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I meant to tell you too that this is great review, man. This album has a shit ton of replay value. Every time I listen to it, it gets better. You can't deny that the melodies intertwined with their heaviness are unique and original. Like you said hbp, if they can top this album, it is going to be a perfect display of musical genius. I can't wait to hear it because this album is in my Top albums of all time.

Wizard
December 24th 2009


19409 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

SteelErectedb4you8er, Hbp doesn't lurk around these premises anymore.

Relinquished
December 24th 2009


25060 Comments


That was a month ago. Get with the times bro.



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