Monday, June 15, 2015

My Silent Wake: Damnatio Memoriae (2015)

I make a big deal about not caring what a band believes, professes, or puts into their lyrics. Nonetheless, I’m still pulling for Christian bands to make solid music, because sometimes I feel pretty lonely as a Christian in the metal world. To that end, I started watching My Silent Wake several years ago, but they fell off my radar for the past few releases.

Their latest effort, Damnatio Memoriae, begins as a refutation of the idea that Christians can’t make good metal. The record begins with a badass riff in the My Dying Bride mold, with simple synth backing and cool leads. The death growls take the forefront, making it echo early MDB. The following track, “Highwire,” shows some new tricks for the English band. An energetic bassline and a black metal riff reminiscent of Dornenreich, in both the rhythmic sense and the blending of open and muted chords. If you’ve ever heard Dornenreich, or you’ve read my opinions on the band, you know this is awesome. “Now It Destroys” follows that triumph with a more death metal-oriented track, reminding me of Hesper Payne, and using plenty of gnarly guitar squeals.

You could say they’re off to a very good start by that point, but then . . . the rest of the record is mostly unremarkable. It’s solid, sure. But unfortunately, unremarkable. I could mention the clean vocals or the mostly MDB-inspired riffs—even the excellent use of bass on closer “Chaos Enfolds Me” (and indeed I just did mention those things). But I'm not going to go into detail on the rest of the album.

You should check this out if those positive things sound interesting to you. The first two tracks are ace. But this isn’t a must-buy.

The Verdict: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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