Wetwork - Synod
Technical Death Metal
9 songs (38:55)
Release year: 2005
Reviewed by Crims
Surprise of the month

Wetwork is another one of those local bands that you constantly hear how good they are, yet you have little if any idea of what they sound like… unless you go see them live. According to Metal Archives Wetwork plays Metalcore. Since I can’t stand Metalcore (Shadow’s Fall excluded) I never really looked into them. Then I receive an e-mail from David Gold from Woods Of Ypres; he tells me he has this awesome promo from a band that has been signed to his label, Krakenhaus records. Turns out it’s Wetwork. Since David Gold and I live in the same city I get the promo in a day or so and I anxiously bring it to my car right away to listen to it on the way to work. I was half-expecting to hear a Lamb Of God clone or the like, thankfully I wasn’t even close. I don’t know what their first two CDs sound like but whoever decided to call this Metalcore really needs to be tarred and feathered or something. This is pure technical Death Metal! And really good Death Metal at that!

Canada (in particular Quebec and Ontario) has somewhat been known for their technical Death bands: Martyr, Gorguts, Solus, Cryptopsy and the list goes on. Wetwork has definitely been influenced by those bands, in particular Solus (also from Toronto) and Gorguts. You can also throw a heavy dose of Individual Thought Patterns era Death and even some Arch Enemy… minus the melodic elements. What you have is a very enjoyable and constantly evolving release. There’s plenty of double bass and chugging riffs, intertwined with technical breakdowns and fills, with some tech-breaks that reminded me of listening to Cynic, complete with mechanical-styled vocals. There’s something for everyone here: it’s not so technical that you have to listen to it 10 times to get it, and it’s not simple enough to turn the CD into one big sound alike-athon. In other words, the songs don’t blend together because each track has distinct rhythms and different approaches. Certain songs are more technical while others are more stripped-down and mosh friendly.

The drumming technique is most similar to Death in my opinion. You don’t have very many blast beats but you have constant technical fills and double bass speed changes. Some times I thought Hoglan was behind the kit, that’s how crazy it got. The guitars and bass keep pace as well and should be noted for some fast start and stop rhythms. The leads are quite good in places while not really following one particular style of solo. Because the production isn’t as heavy or as thick as some Death bands (it almost sounds more like a well-produced Black Metal band, like Immortal or Enthroned, but with Death riffs), the bass can easily be heard and the guitars give the band a certain crunch and distortion that instantly separates them from most American and Swedish Death bands.

Also of note is the fact that the vocalist is female. The reason I didn’t mention it sooner is because I didn’t realize it until about the third listen and it’s only because I looked closely at the back of the CD. It’s far from a gimmick and shouldn’t really be compared to Arch Enemy too much; mostly because the delivery is totally different and falls more in line with some Thrash bands as far as the timing with the riffs. I originally had assumed it was a guy doing more of a Black Metal style than a Death growl and in the end it works quite well for the band. You don’t think to yourself, “Oh, it’s a girl singing”, you think: “the vocals work” (at least I did). There are some dabbles of Cynic styled clean vocals as well as the odd deep growl, but by and large the songs contain the aforementioned higher-ranged style.

I was very impressed with this CD and I can’t wait to see these guys live. Listening to Synod is a very brutal and punishing experience with dashes of technical brilliance that helps the band stand out from other groups in the style. I hope that David Gold signs some more bands to his label from all Metal styles to help give them more exposure in the Toronto area and then eventually more world-wide notice. I will admit that the CD loses some steam later on as I found myself enjoying and listening to the first five songs more than the last four, mostly due to some song writing choices which just didn’t hold my interest (mainly less neck breaking moments), but by and large this is a huge step in the right direction for this band and truth be told it’s already one of my most listened to Death Metal releases this year. Synod is highly recommended to Death Metal fans and metalcore this is not.

Killing Songs :
Heavens Advocate, Shelter Of Hypocrisy, Depths Of Greed, Pontinous Pilate
Crims quoted 85 / 100
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