Rwake - Rest
Experimental Sludge Metal
6 songs (54:08)
Release year: 2011
Rwake, Relapse
Reviewed by Khelek

I first heard Rwake last year when I dug up and reviewed their 2007 effort Voices Of Omens. Well the guys are back with new material, Rest being their second release on Relapse. It is a definitely a different sort of album than Voices was, yet it is still very much the same. If that sounds confusing then I would suggest picking up some of their previous work and seeing what you think. These guys are not afraid to change things up while still remaining true to their sludge/doom roots, and I can tell you that those who enjoyed the band's previous work will like this as well.

Souls Of The Sky starts the album off very light and surreal-sounding. The female vocals lend it a creepy yet calming quality along with the acoustic guitar. It's an atmosphere that really draws you in without taking much time. After this immersion, It Was Beautiful But Now It's Sour is a big change. First heavy guitar riffs pound into you, then wailing guitar that sounds like a mix of Ritchie Blackmore and Emperor. The song spirals down into a pit of angry, dissonant riffs with some violent, yet melancholy solos ripping away in the background. The vocal style is different here than on the previous release. More of a shout than a growl. The riffs get quicker and catchier, transforming the track from a slow ballad to a headbanging masterpiece seamlessly. The verse slows things back down for another round of pounding riffs. Simply a crushing track, with the guitars barely reaching up from the pit of despair from time to time. An Invisible Thread starts off a bit more energetic, later on strangely making me think of Skinny Puppy at times, and that's all I'll say about it. The Culling, the longest track on the album at a whopping 16 minutes, starts off slow and smooth with serene guitars that puts an image in my mind of a Zen garden or flowing water. This gives way to much angrier and more demanding section that uses dissonant riffs and the screams/yells of C.T. to create a loud yet lonely atmosphere. Some guitar solos add a touch of urgent melancholy. The production could be a bit better here in the lower end I feel, the drums sometimes sound a bit muddy to me, but that could also be intended. I'm not entirely sure, but I think this particular song is drowned out by itself from time to time. This album is different from the previous one, more repetitive and subdued, but with a deeper sort of darkness. The longer compositions are bleak, yet still flames shoot up out of the bleakness, which can make for a rewarding listen if you're in the right mood. Was Only A Dream is a more accessible song that start of very nicely with a simple guitar lead that provides an excellent contrast for the vocals while other riffs are layered over to create a mass of sound that is as interesting as it is heavy. This is a true sludge track.

Rest is a strange album that is full of dark atmospheres and is completely unrelenting. That's not to say their previous album was a walk through the park, but I think the riffs were more energetic, the atmospheres less desolate. Listening to the crushing The Culling leaves you to wonder what purpose this music has, indeed what purpose life has. I know there are many who would consider this to be a waste of time to listen to for that reason, but I feel that having this kind of listening experience enriches my life by allowing me to experience and imagine things that I might never have without it. The atmospheres here also remind me a bit of Lifelover or Celestia, both bands very good at creating absolutely desolate, depressing atmospheres. Of course this is certainly music you have to be in the right mood to listen to. Nevertheless, if that's what you want to hear, these guys can keep your attention. In short if you liked the previous release or you just want some unique angry, depressive metal, you can count on liking this.

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Killing Songs :
It Was Beautiful But Now It's Sour and Was Only A Dream stood out to me, but the whole album is pretty consistent
Khelek quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Rwake that we have reviewed:
Rwake - Voices Of Omens reviewed by Khelek and quoted 86 / 100
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