My Silent Wake – An Unbroken Threnody

My Silent Wake
An Unbroken Threnody
Released 08th February 2016
Doom metal
Released via Stone Groove Records

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‘Best of’ compilations can be a great way to introduce new listeners to a band, and in An Unbroken Threnody, My Silent Wake have properly grabbed my attention. This collection of music is drawn from the first ten years of their fairly prolific career, and therefore encompasses a fairly wide spread of style, ranging from more or less pure doom, through a touch of death metal, and what might even be a hint of psychedelic doom, a la The Blood Divine’s Mystica.

As the press release states, this is ‘for fans of’ Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, and Indiscience. The influences of these bands are plain as day, out there for all to see – and it’s glorious! PL and MDB are clearly a massive part of the mix, and, for someone who remembers the soul shaking gothic riffs of the  1990s, it is a welcome return to a sensation long resigned to the ‘meh’ pile of life. If I’d been aware of this band throughout their existence, I would have devoured their releases one after the other. However, I’m almost glad I didn’t, as this is a real pleasure to delve into without prior warning.

There are naturally parts which are stronger than others. It’s a good sign that two of the crowning moments, Highwire & And So It Comes To An End, are taken from 2015’s Damnatio Memoriae, and show a band who have matured rather than grown flaccid with age. Older material still stands up perfectly well, such as the diabolically hefty Tunnels – the opener from 2008’s  A Garland Of Tears -and the almost folk-infused Shadow Of Sorrow from their debut of the same name.

It’s inspiring to hear a band who have delivered such consistently high-calibre output, even more so when a decade’s worth of their music hits you square in the chops in one sitting. If you were a fan of any of the acts mentioned in this review, but haven’t yet checked out MSW, I highly recommend you do. Although the comparisons are spot on, this is no imitation. This is the real deal.

4.5/5

Paul Macmillan

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