The Wake review on Terra Relicta

So here I come with The Wake, an international effort between Romanian and German musicians, with the intention of reviving the traditional vibe of old school masters. The band is formed by two musicians known only as V and XII. The first one doing the vocals and responsible for the songwriting and XII on guitars, bass and programming. The Wake have well-marked cards as influences, so they follow the steps of Dissection, Venom, Bathory, Immortal, Darkthrone, Dark Funeral and add some melancholy into their sound which can be resembled with My Dying Bride, early Anathema and Cradle Of Filth.

The history of this formation is somehow vague and obscure, it is known only that it first appeared in 2009, same year in which XII began with the compositions and started recording of the nine tracks that form the album Earth’s Necropolis. I would like to know more about how the work developed at the beginning of the design of this album, because I found it strange that the song were composed since 2009 and in from 2013 to 2016 V comes on the scene to add the lyrics and complete together with XII some songs.

I got very pleased to know about the fraternal work spent by other musicians to assist in the conception of Earth’s Necropolis. Incidentally, I find this extremely valid, which shows how our metal legion joins together for the common good. In this regard, Costin-Alexandru Chioreanu from Bloodway appears in the track “Trial Against Humanity”, then Michael Pilat (ex-The Ocean) gave his pinch on “Earth’s Necropolis” and Joshua Kabe Ashworth (Society’s Finest, ex-Zao) on “Ship Of Hope”. Travis Smith who has done artwork for many established rock and metal bands, including Death, Devin Townsend, Katatonia, The Foreshadowing, Nevermore, Opeth, Anathema, and King Diamond among others, contributed with artwork in this release.

Let’s talk about the album now. Earth’s Necropolis is raw and intense in a traditional way, no doubt. The first track is my favorite, “Proem”, it offers more than two minutes of pure dark beauty. Its heavy yet melodic riffs enchanted me. Atmospheric keyboards, the melody that came from the bass and a smell of doom metal, makes this song really appealing and dark. An instrumental dripping intense feelings. “Isolated Illusion”, the second track, is well rooted in the 90s with grim screams and raw blast beats and tremolo pickings. These features are found throughout the entire album, as well as the mix that goes back and forth between slow and mid paced parts. It’s pretty complicated for me to have to make negative comments, but unfortunately it’s inevitable. In this track the vocals sounded good for me, but then I come across with the drums, which overlaps in an almost selfish way above the guitars and bass. It rumbles in my brain in an annoying way, in addition to keeping up with the same rhythm.

So, some edges should be trimmed by the two musicians when the next album will be released. The sound needs to be cleaner, it’s very dirty. Raw and aggressive production doesn’t need to be dirty this way, what gives the characteristic are the instruments and how they are administered. The confusion, the noise mess, are not cool, they have ruined many songs. There is no harmonic identification of the instruments, the drum always takes the place of all of them. Some guitar solos here and there would be very nice to hear.

The best songs for me are undoubtedly “Proem”, “Ship Of Hope”, “Earth’s Necropolis” and “Closure”. Congratulations to Michael Pilat and his extraordinary vocal on the song “Earth’s Necropolis”. The introduction of “Trial Against Humanity” was very enjoyable, but then the mess of the instruments began and I do not know why, Costin-Alexandru who was stylistically shedding his voice, starts screaming so loud that I heard his vocal cords shout: “Costin, we’re going to bust!” Poor vocal cords crawled almost to the breaking point. And it was not cool…

My criticism may have been negative, but I believe that these guys, if what I rated as disgraced on this album is trimmed and varnished, they’ll be on the right track. Sometimes I think the result was not so satisfactory because the final adjustments were not meticulous. But I’m looking forward to the next album! We all deserve a second chance and someone who is willing to understand this and not just destroy a work, because for sure the dedication involved is priceless and is always important to me. Anyway, thanks for this release The Wake and see you next time in a better form!

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