Canadian grinders Wake scorch the Great White North to black on their furious fourth full-length, Misery Rites.
Ever since the release of Surrounded by Human Filth in 2010, Wake have been on an upward trajectory toward the darkest, most unrelenting forms of grindcore possible, which had seemed to reach its apex with 2016’s vicious Sowing the Seeds of a Worthless Tomorrow. With the release of Misery Rites, however, it appears that band is far from out of steam, and that there are still even darker recesses within the genre to explore. The record picks up where its predecessor left off and drags the listener further into an abyss full of seething anger, inner turmoil and lots of fast, ugly riffs.
With only nine tracks and roughly 27 minutes at their disposal, Wake do not waste a second of precious time and immediately trap the listener in a maelstrom of blistering instrumentation, beginning with the one-two punch of “Exhumation” and “Misery Rites”. “Exhumation” opens up the record with menacing, dissonant, lurching riffs that march in jagged patterns as vocalist Kyle Ball delivers some fierce, gut-punching screams. This leads directly into the album’s devastating title track, which pounces upon the listener suddenly and proceeds to maim them for a solid two minutes. The hyper-speed guitars are a crushing blitz of blackened, grimy grind that is propelled by absolutely hellacious drumming. The song does in fact bear some semblance of melody at various points, but it is swallowed by the cacophonous amalgam of grindcore, crust and black metal above.
The problem with a lot of grindcore is that everything can be so fast and relentless that all of the songs blur together, ultimately becoming unforgettable. Wake‘s solid songwriting prevents this by crafting songs that are incredibly nuanced while still retaining all of the speed and rage that the genre is known for. Examples include the fourth track, “Rot”, which weaves in-and-out of various degrees of angular, subtly technical guitar arrangements, blackened charges and bashing metallic beatdowns. “Exile” is another standout cut as it begins with a brief burst of grinding violence before launching into an assault of sprawling riffs characterized by jarring rhythm shifts, flourishes of atonal licks and sludge.
The band bring the record to a close with the nearly eight-minute, slow-burning “Burial Ground”. The track begins with a melancholic, pseudo-melodic riff that lumbers along steadily before bleeding into a display of icy, flesh-ripping black metal, and further into hell-spawned grind. The track briefly breaks from the fire and brimstone for a saddened, melodic guitar interlude that gives way to a mighty, sludgy and disfigured riff that stomps about repeatedly up until the album’s noisy, chaotic end.
All-in-all, Wake‘s Misery Rites is a monster of a grindcore album and one that will grab listeners by the throat and refuse to let go.
Release Date: February 23, 2018
Label: Translation Loss Records
Favorite Tracks: “Misery Rites”, “Embers”, “Rot”, “Paradigm Lost” and “Burial Ground”
For Fans of: The Drip, Gadget, Vermin Womb, Rotten Sound and Fuck the Facts