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My Silent Wake : Shadow of Sorrow

The first thing that strike the hear are the VERY melodic guitars. Melodic and mournful, like the best of UK Doom/Death scene can offer us. And then, the hammer of Doom strikes, and it strikes hard. For with their first effort, the English band My Silent Wake takes the best of old My Dying Bride and Anathema and mix it with some damn punishing vocals. Singer Ian Arkley definitively know how to sound aggressive, with a definite Swedish vibe that remind me the great days of Edge Of Sanity. All this is completed with some damn hard to forget choruses (it's very difficult to not sing along the one on 'Lost'), and clean vocals reminding me a lot of great UK Gothic acts like The Mission or even Inkubus Sukkubus for some medieval ambiances (the excellent 'Shadow Reprise', which is essentially a small acoustic/medieval instrumental remake of their song 'Shadow Of Sorrow').

The band manage to alternate very Heavy songs with some more introspective (the superb "ballad" 'Through Greenest Meadows' is the best Doom variation on Opeth I've ever heard), and some nods to the old style of Epic Doom pioneered by the likes of Candlemass. There is not a single weak track on this album. All of it breathes sadness of the highest quality, and smells of forests under the rain, of wet earth and moss-covered stones. Fans will be delighted to discover the two hard to find songs that were featured on the band self-titled first mCD. A bit more raw than the rest of the album, and going more into the mid-90's Swedish melodic death side than being purely Doom, they are still great songs nevertheless.

Pretty much anyone liking both the early Peaceville Three or melodic Doom/Death bordering on Gothic will like this album. It's a long ride (hey, nearly 1 hour and half of music can be a bit long to digest), but you never get lost along it. Considering that the album was entirely recorded and mixed in four days, this just show how talented this band is. Bored by all those My Dying Bride wannabes, the ultra-melodic-because-we-want-to-get-all-the-loligoth-chicks Doom/nearly-Death or the I’m-so-Goth-I-shit-bats female-fronted Doomy bands? Take your revenge with this album: It's just a show of how good Doom/Death with Gothic influences should always be done, should always sound. A very good surprise, and a band damn worthy of your attention.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Wake
2. Shadow Of Sorrow
3. Burning
4. Hunting Season
5. The Mist
6. In Darkness
7. Lost
8. Through Greenest Meadows
9. Shadow Reprise
10. Your Cold Embrace
11. Encircle

Duration : Approx. 79 minutes.

Visit the My Silent Wake bandpage.

Reviewed on 30-01-2010 by Laurent Lignon
A Dream Of Poe - The Wraith Uncrowned
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