WAKE “Thought Form Descent”
By: Lord Randall
‘Infinite Inward’ slowly rolls into our vision over the horizon, an incoming tide lapping at the shore, and it’s clear WAKE is seeking something grander here. Soon enough, though, the softly swirling waters become waves of destructive proportions. Much like HAUNTER’s past few albums, I’ve become interested in what happens when screamo and/or grind bands veer hard left into metallic lands. For both bands, the move has actually made me take notice, as their approach to and way of looking at metal are wildly different than the norm. Encompassing, this opening benefits greatly from a pristine production, accentuating every nuance, yet resulting in a sound that engulfs the listener whole.
After a simply cataclysmic ‘Mourning Dirge (Repose Of The Dead)’ and the much-needed respite of the too-short ‘Pareidolia’, we’re again wrapped in the swaying, weighted chains of ‘Venerate (The Undoing Of All)’, but – while I am very into much of “Thought Form Descent”--it’s starting to wear on me. It’s clear much care has been put into arrangement and sonic texture, but I’m not hearing a lot that’s sticking with me past the next few verses and on an album where 5 of the 8 songs push past the 6-minute mark, that’s maybe not so good.
‘Observer To Master’ rather moves past uneventful, yet sounding beautiful while doing so, a stunningly attractive person who you don’t feel could hold up their end of a conversation of any importance, but ‘Bleeding Eyes Of The Watcher’ recovers to a point, and even at nearly 9 minutes, may just be my pick of the album. Dense, yet perfectly placed, and including the shimmering washes of guitar, the esophagus-rending vocals, the impeccable rhythms of WAKE when it’s firing on all cylinders, the album could’ve ended here and been put to rest perfectly.
As it stands, “Thought Form Descent” is the quintet at the top of their game, there’s no denying. And I’m not going to say I won’t grow to truly appreciate this album in coming months, but for now, I’m more pleasantly surprised than enthusiastic.