My Silent Wake – Lost in Memories, Lost in Grief Review

My Silent Wake – Lost in Memories, Lost in Grief Review

England’s long-running doom act My Silent Wake started slinging old-timey doom tunes since forming in 2005. My Silent Wake boasts an impressively lengthy track record, culminating in their twelfth opus of sadboi gloom, Lost in Memories, Lost in Grief, complete with a side of death and Gothic romanticism. I came across the band on their solid tenth album There Was Death in 2018, dipping into the promo sump blindly and initially thinking I stumbled across a newer, untapped gem to spread the gospel. A bit of research uncovered their storied recording past. There Was Death didn’t inspire enough interest to do a deep dive, however, it left me satisfied with the rich, slab of doomy goodness, bringing modern flavorings and character to Peaceville Three influences, most prominently My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost. I missed 2020’s follow-up, Damnum per Saeculorum (an ambient, experimental excursion), now reconnecting and crossing fingers for a doom album to reach into my soul and bring the feels.

One key criticism of There Was Death related to the significant bloat present, detracting from the more solidly written and compelling material. The band continues to dabble in longer form cuts, pushing upwards of six minutes on half the eight songs present, yet the whole package runs more concisely at a manageable 43 minutes. Immediately the band’s experience and confident grasp of their well-trodden formula is apparent on opener “The Liar and the Fool.” The subdued, almost spoken word opening rolls out the Gothic drama, before kicking into a hefty mid-paced groove adorned with groovy riffs, prominent organ, and dueling vocals. Main growler Ian Arkley (also on guitars) possesses a suitably thick, hearty death growl perfectly befitting the old school death-doom style. Meanwhile, the stately, drama-fueled cleans of the organ-wielding Simon Bibby provide the epic, harmonizing melodic counterpoint, forming a potent combo.

My Silent Wake’s rich, heaving sound comes awash in gloomy atmospheres and crimson-dipped Gothic melancholy, without falling into overly bleak, depressing realms. The well-executed vocal tag team, rich mix of chunky, organ-drenched death grooves, and dreary doom dynamics lend the album an energetic, striking dynamic, backed by engaging guitar work, sorrowful melodies, and earworm hooks. Bibby’s increased role on dual lead vocals is a significant change-up, his dramatic, powerful cleans responsible for many rousing moments across the album, though at times they slightly detract from the meaty old school growls of Arkley. Listeners not down with Bibby’s style may find his increased involvement a potential sticking point. However, it’s hard to argue with some of the strikingly infectious vocal melodies and beauty vs beast harmonies scattered amidst the doom and gloom.

“Lavender Garden” supplies heroic vocal hooks and emotional weight in spades. It’s rugged grooves and sprightly pacing serve a well-constructed song that lodges itself in the brain. “When You Look Back” will please death-doom purists. Despite featuring some clean singing, the song heavily relies on Arkley’s impassioned death vox, settling into a mournful, doomy cadence, with strong results. Elsewhere, “Another Light” picks up the pace and jam packs lots of energy, deathly crunch, and bright, organ-dabbled grooves into the mix. There are no real clunkers to speak of, though album pacing is a bit off on occasions and bloat appears on a couple of lengthier later album tunes (“The Last Lullaby” and “No Time”). I could also do without the occasional spoken word moments. Thankfully, closer “The Judges” concludes the album in a compact, satisfying manner, combining a morose atmosphere with excellent dual vocal harmonies and beautifully soulful guitar work.

Surrounded by his accomplished bandmates, Arkley remains the key figure steering the doom ship. His formidable growls ground the band in deathlier territory and ensure the increased melodic tendencies do not overshadow My Silent Wake’s darker, heftier throes. Arkley’s guitar work is also top-notch, straddling death-doom lines and integrating chunky, harder-hitting riffs amidst the deft melodic touches. My Silent Wake may not be positioned at the forefront of the modern doom scene. However, from my limited exposure to their extensive catalog they are a spirited, gifted act. Proudly wearing their influences on their sleeves, My Silent Wake boast enough character and songwriting smarts to carve their own niche in the retro-minded Goth-tinged doom space. Lost in Memories, Lost in Grief is a warm, inviting and endearingly solid slab of catchy death-doom, well worth a listen.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 9 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Ardua Music
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: May 3rd, 2024

The post My Silent Wake – Lost in Memories, Lost in Grief Review appeared first on Angry Metal Guy.

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