Calgary, AB grind outfit Wake released one hell of a gritty/sludgy/noisy opus with 2016's devastating Sowing the Seeds of a Worthless Tomorrow. Now, exactly two years later, they've managed to kick things up a notch, albeit a more depressing and oppressive one. The aptly titled Misery Rites is the band's latest full-length, and it incorporates dark, experimental nuances into their crusty and dynamic rage-filled approach.
Featuring nine tracks in 27 minutes, Misery Rites starts off on an ominous note, with slow-crawling dissonance and suffocating, tormented screams on "Exhumation" before the title track punches into high gear. The onslaught of relentless chaos and blackened aggression continues on "Embers," which features speedy guitars and barrelling drums, while "Rot" showcases hints of melody beneath the blistering mayhem. Wake excel at creating thoughtful compositions to support their harsh, clashing tones, which is particularly evident on tracks like "Exile," with its unpredictable structure and layers of sludgy, corrosive riffs and discordant notes.
Misery Rites ends with its longest track, the nearly eight-minute "Burial Ground," which brings the album full circle. However, while first track "Exhumation" built itself up, "Burial Ground" deconstructs; the track goes from blazing, black metal-infused grind to a melancholic melody that leads into colossal groove-filled riffs. By the time the unsettling feedback finishes, it's clear that Wake have honed the complexity of their sound and created a diverse body of work that demonstrates what makes modern grindcore so wonderfully unique. (Translation Loss)