Rwake Voices of Omens

For a decade, Arkansas’ Rwake ploughed through doom sludge with a prog twist that sadly went unheard on various indie labels until Relapse signed the band last year to record their magnum opus, Voices of Omens. Their ambitious doom follows the template forged by 2004’s If You Walk Before You Crawl, You Crawl Before You Die but adds more melodic elements into the mix. With guitars smacking of Zeppelin’s "The Battle of Evermore,” the skeletal "Intro” gives way to the warped voice samples and Mastodon-like power of "The Finality” and "Crooked Rivers,” with the former fading out with lush acoustic guitars and piano. "Fire and Flight” recalls the verdure of Pink Floyd’s "Dogs” before collapsing under the dual vocal load of mountain man CT and death mistress Brit (who favours the high-pitched howls of Goatwhore’s Sammy Duet rather than earning any Crisis or Arch Enemy comparisons). Structurally, "Leviticus” uses Neurosis liberally as its blueprint, and "Of Grievous Abominations” employs Skynyrd melodies channelled through Acid Bath. Unsettling instrumental "Bridge” leads to the album’s best track, "Inverted Overtures,” intensely wrought with pummelling riffage and tortured screams that rip open filth-encrusted scar tissue. Voices of Omens transcends the usual doom hangovers of whiskey and street drugs, as Rwake cut a Sherman-esque swath through the Deep South with a blackened trail of destruction and depravity in their wake. (Relapse)