Review Summary: Building on bedlam.
2020 has been chaotic. I don't think a single person would disagree with that statement. We have seen countless earth-shattering events that one might expect to worm themselves into the course of a decade take place inside ten months of one calendar year. Many bands have used the isolation and disorder that have plagued our lives as inspiration to push their creative boundaries, and a perfect example is Calgary-based extreme metal quintet Wake
. Having already released one of the year's most impressive LPs in Devouring Ruin
(if you haven't heard it yet, you are missing out), the band has expanded on their unique blend of blackened death metal and hardcore music to deliver an additional twenty-three minutes of mayhem.
feels like a natural progression from Devouring Ruin
. The riffs are as delicious as ever, the song structures are ambitious and flow beautifully together, and the production is absolutely stellar. The grindcore elements that were the essence of the band's earliest materials are woven into an intricate tapestry of howling shrieks and growls, rapid-fire drum patterns and melodic leads. Many groups in this vein tend to use abrasive audio techniques to construct a more violent and raw listening experience, but Wake
have decided to go in the opposite direction and really push the boundaries of what metal production can sound like. Every instrument is completely massive without drowning out the rest of the pieces, and the result is an absolute pleasure to take in through a quality pair of headphones.
Though it's clear that there is still room to expand their sound and further distance themselves from the rest of the pack, Confluence
is evidence that Devouring Ruin
was no fluke. Wake
are rapidly ascending to the upper echelon of today's exciting metal bands. Their sound is by no means revolutionary, and they wear their influences on their sleeves - but they still manage to carve out a niche for themselves nonetheless. With any luck, their next LP will further cement their place in the scene, setting the stage for other bands to draw influence and take note of everything the group is doing to turn themselves from an underground success into titans of metal.