Rwake
Hell Is A Door To The Sun


3.5
great

Review

by DominionMM1 USER (1 Reviews)
May 29th, 2013 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Welcome to Arkansas.

Rwake, hailing from Little Rock, have made quite a name for themselves in the sludge metal scene. In a genre in which many bands employ the same one-dimensional sound and style, they have distinguished themselves from their peers with a strong focus on dynamics: one minute, bludgeoning the listener into submission with crushing, abrasive riffs and vocals, and in the next, lulling them into tranquility with soft, melodic passages, giving a short reprieve, before dragging them back down into a swamp of despair.


Combining elements of the choking dirge of Neurosis with the oppressive sludge of Eyehategod, Rwake create a style here that is their own, while at the same time paying tribute to the artists who influenced them. They merge doom-like riffs with light, ethereal guitars, and space-y keyboards to establish a unique contrast; southern sludge- style shouts mixed with old school black metal screams amidst the wall of distortion make the the lyrics unintelligible for the most part, which actually enhances the swampy atmosphere of the album. And while there are simple, but effective, power chord riffs aplenty, guitarists Chuck and Gravy go beyond that, playing melodic harmonies and even a solo or two, which provides a nice contrast to the onslaught of denseness, while showing that they can actually play their instruments. Rwake's self-deprecating use of samples, mostly taken from film and TV, serve to lighten the mood while poking fun at their redneck roots, as if to say " Don't take all of this too seriously".


While Rwake's approach works for the most part, Hell Is A Door To The Sun is not without it's shortcomings; the tracks sound disjointed and the transitions forced at times, as if the band simply cobbled together various ideas and pieces without giving much thought as to how they fit together or putting much effort into creating more fluidity within certain tracks. 'The Cat And The Snake' is the best example of this.The biggest issue, however, is the vocal delivery; there really is no pattern or cadence, and the jumbled phrasing leaves much to be desired.


With their proper debut, Rwake put their own spin on sludge metal, giving the genre a much needed shot in the arm. While their songwriting and arranging would greatly improve with each subsequent release, the energy and enthusiasm found on Hell Is A Door To The Sun make for a great time. This record is certainly not the recommended starting point for those looking to get into Rwake, as it shows a band still far from perfecting their craft; it does, however, show a band finding their identity.


user ratings (20)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
DominionMM1
May 28th 2013


10125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Finally got around to writing a review after 2+ years here. Any feedback would be appreciated.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
May 29th 2013


7422 Comments


without it's shortcomings -> without its shortcomings

the album title

Other than that, solid review. Pos'd.

Digging: Dope Body - Lifer

DominionMM1
May 29th 2013


10125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks man

MosesMalone
August 16th 2013


1836 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't give a shit about Jesus, I'm too busy getting high!

DominionMM1
August 16th 2013


10125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

m/

DominionMM1
December 4th 2013


10125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT JEEEEESSSUUUSSS

Inveigh
December 4th 2013


25025 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

holy fuck how did i not know you reviewed this. nice work man. i'm with you on this album. it's good, but for rwake fans only

DominionMM1
December 4th 2013


10125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks dude. i got this on vinyl awhile back and listened to it over and over and decided to write a review. now i should probably do one for if you walk.

Inveigh
December 4th 2013


25025 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

no doubt man, keep the sludge and especially rwake love alive

DominionMM1
December 4th 2013


10125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

m/

MosesMalone
December 4th 2013


1836 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Got rest on vinyl, sooo ready to jam that shit nonstop.

DominionMM1
December 4th 2013


10125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

do it dude do it

Inveigh
December 4th 2013


25025 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hell yeah, jamming it right now m/

wish i had it on vinyl though



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