My Silent Wake – Lost in Memories, Lost in Grief (Ardua Music)

Friday, 3rd May 2024
Rating: 8 / 10

Twelve albums into their career, UK quartet My Silent Wake capably infuse doom metal with gothic and death inflections for Lost in Memories, Lost in Grief. Living in melancholic splendor, the eight tracks contain a pensive sensibility that reflect older 80s/90s influences from Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride to Novembers Doom – while the vocals from keyboardist Yamaha Reface (supported with growls/semi-spoken bit from guitarist/Ebow player Ian Arkley encompass a mix of bard-like, folk-oriented charm next to darker growls and mysterious, haunting whispers.

The arrangements vary from the direct, compact offerings for “When You Look Back” or the relatively faster, peppier “Another Light” to much more maudlin, epic tracks such as opener “The Liar and the Fool” or “The Last Lullaby” where longer instrumental passages or diverse melodies envelop the listener through a multitude of emotional, transitional shifts. Logical embellishment takes place in smaller pieces, where certain notes ring out before the next musical piece emerges. Be it a crunchy chord that gives chase to an ever-evolving crawling vocal or the stop/ start organ to six-string cultural runs that pick up to a nice mid-paced swinging doom dance, there’s plenty to tantalize ears (and brain matter) through subsequent passes. When you have a singing presence from the group that can channel Pete Steele or Hansi Kürsch one moment, then the best doom/death singers on the next verse, you know you have a winning formula that should garner respect / admiration from all sides of the underground.

Favorites change daily: the calm tranquility that mutates into a cultural doom/death march for “The Liar and the Fool” a surefire highlight, while those who remember Icon or Draconian Times-period Paradise Lost will find favor to the commercial tinges throughout “When You Look Back”. Active almost twenty years in the scene, it’s shocking that My Silent Wake haven’t gained as much attention through their display of intuitive songwriting mechanics and passion for multiple genres – hopefully Lost in Memories, Lost in Grief can right that ship for the better.

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