My Silent Wake - There Was Death
Minotauro Records
Gothic Doom Metal
9 songs (63' 21")
Release year: 2018
Reviewed by Andy

A few weeks ago My Silent Wake dropped their latest album, There Was Death, in our inbox. Now that I've looked around on the Internet to see what they've been up to, I see I've missed the instrumental-laden Invitation to Imperfection earlier this year -- I'll have to check it out -- but There Was Death continues My Silent Wake's recent practice of releasing doomy, high-quality tracks that are not 100% tied to the genre.

In 2015 we got a complex album with a lot of different styles being tried out, all of them good in their own right. With the first two songs of this one, we see a more genre-focused album. The first song, A Dying Man's Wish, starts out with solid doom: A repetitive, dragging riff suitable for a burial march with a lead solo whining over the top, which eventually moves to a double-timed version, and though Damnatio Memorae (perhaps they couldn't resist using the same phrase as a song name as well as an album name?) is faster, it's still got a lot of the same elements. But while this album seems more focused on doom and a sorrowful atmosphere than the darker Damnatio Memorae, My Silent Wake is just as inventive here as on other albums. I especially liked Ghosts of Parlous Lives, a return to My Dying Bride-style gothic sorrow, with female vocals wailing a wordless melody behind Ian Arkley's implacable pronouncements. Towards the end, the music speeds up with a menacing undercurrent to a clean chorus.

Nor is There Was Death a 100% straight doom album. The title track's tremolo-picking and waltzing beat, the guitars harmonizing in a nearly song-length lead, gives way to a swinging, utterly headbangable beat, helped along by an organ of all things; the atmosphere of introspective sadness followed by riff-heavy ferocity is a switch My Silent Wake has always been able to pull of remarkably well, and avoids monotony that could otherwise come about if the whole album was made of tracks like An End to Suffering, a funereal tune at a molasses-slow pace that caps off the album.

Almost all of the tunes on here are pretty good, and easily deliver the proper atmosphere. My Silent Wake, focusing more on their gothic doom background than they did in the last album I heard, still ensures that there's enough good material on here for most listeners to like at least some aspect of the sound on There was Death.

Killing Songs :
Ghosts of Parlous Lives, There Was Death
Andy quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by My Silent Wake that we have reviewed:
My Silent Wake - Damnatio Memoriae reviewed by Andy and quoted 80 / 100
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