Review Summary: There’s always something to find, The Empty Bed is beautifully “mise en place”.
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, On Wings On Wax aren’t your everyday metal band, this one man act draws the listener in using a greater musical awareness. This atmospheric progressive act is far away from the metalcore groups that get mentioned on a day to day basis and whether or not that particular facet appeals to you, there’s something to be gained from listening to such a vibrant and well-rounded release, The Empty Bed
is something beautiful to behold. First off, what’s instantly recognisable is the fact that this is largely an instrumental project, allowing for the instrumentals to build the atmosphere, thoroughly wrapping its way around the listeners’ subconscious. At forty one minutes, The Empty Bed
is a graceful yet bleak take on the instrumental progressive metal genre. Weaving melodies blend with translucent tones shedding light on just how glorious a metal record without vocals of any kind can be. On Wings On Wax is an optimistic release for this one man project, and despite the fact that it is devoid of vocal lines is surprisingly fresh and welcoming. The Empty Bed
can be represented as a journey, with each track a chapter in this metaphorical book. In fact, the imagery itself is quite suiting, providing that extra level of accessibility for an album without words.
Notes come and go, gliding gracefully but never out of the listeners’ memory. The album is complex, deep needing extra attention to fully understand just what’s going on under the steady guitar chords and consistent drum work. For those familiar with culinary terms, chefs have a saying: Mise En Place
, which in French means “everything in its place”. Placing such a term on The Empty Bed
makes sense, there’s nothing here that shouldn’t be allowing the record to be smooth, free flowing and most importantly without problems. That’s where the culinary metaphor ends, especially as this is an art of a different sort. On Wings Of Wax has a lot of things going for this young act. Clearly the creative juices are flowing giving this release the energy it needs to not only enter the atmospheric metal scene but blow most similar acts out of the water. With all of this positive energy floating around the question still needs to be asked; what would a vocalist do for this project? The answer is simple; it would cripple it on almost all levels changing the song writing style to work around vocal structures. As it lies, this album is well off without the restrictions that come with trying to fit vocal lines in.
It’s a great thing that an instrumental solo act has such a musical awareness as to keep things interesting. Over the duration of The Empty Bed’s
nine beautiful tracks, the listener is without the chance to get bored, and neither is the instrumental prowess of the act rammed down the throat of the listener. Under this moniker, On Wings Of Wax have still got room for growth. This project and album show a fair bit of growth for the solo artist, Adam and a leap from the hardcore band he first started out with (whose project’s name is That’ll Be The Day) but this do it your-self musician shows all the enthusiasm needed to succeed on the world’s stage. The Empty Bed
is expansive, vibrant but is also filled with its share of melancholy. The album is truly an example of ‘mise en place’ as it has everything it needs, and nothing it doesn’t.