Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
In life, sometimes we need a break. Be it the stresses of life, exhaustion, etc., humans need a breather. That goes for music as well. As much as I love and worship metal, especially extreme metal, I find myself in need of calmer and more meditative music to help satiate that desire.
Hence: here we have My Silent Wake. A doom metal troup from England... but this album is quite different. This album is a detour for the band and showcases an ambient/acoustic/folk side to their sound. This is my first ever experience with this band, so lets dive in to see how this album plays out.
Right off the bat, you are reminded that ATMOSPHERE IS KEY. These compositions are gorgeous and stunning. I found myself becoming lost in the beauty of these songs and how dense the atmosphere is.
I'm reminded of bands such The Moon and the Nightspirit and Heilung, but of course My Silent Wake standing on their own. The music displayed in this album is vivid. I find myself envisioning scenes of nature. Lush forests and pearly water are displayed here.
Along with atmosphere, simplicity is key on this album. Though the songs are densely layered, they still remain grounded and don't tread off into unnecessary wankery. Tracks such as "Arfryn," "Fall into the Sea," "Diadem," and "Warhawks" display the lush beauty of acoustic folk. Serene plucked guitars lull you into peaceful solitude. Songs like "To Feel the Caress of Long Dead Lovers" and "The Rhyme of Winters' Children" take on almost gothic classical tendencies, but still within the realms of the music displayed herein. Here, we see more of an inclusion of clean guitars and female vocals, adding even more texture to these already dense compositions.
Things once again begin to take another turn towards the later half of the album, with songs like "Triple Life" and "The Mourning Earth" taking on tribal elements mixed in with drone. These songs use noisier elements to great effect, and it's not used in a harsh way. To me, it feels as if they are using noise as a meditative tool and not for dissonance. Last track "Berceuse" is a beautiful piano borderline-ballad. Heavenly female vocals are used throughout most of the song and it really adds to the fragility and tenderness of this song. The middle section introduces a really bombastic "heavy" section, accompanied by dramatic male vocals. You'd think that the transitioning would be jarring, but it flows in surprisingly well.
I'm an awe over how gorgeous Damnum Per Saeculorum is. The pacing flows surprisingly well, given that the album is 66 minutes long, but each song feels like a journey. This album is the equivalent of lost in a forest and it is your quest to find your way back home. It may be a treacherous voyage, but in the end you still find your solace--home always awaits. My Silent Wake has struck gold. I highly recommend this album. Admire its beauty and cherish it, because in crazy times like these, we need to find our own peace.
My Silent Wake - Damnum Per Saeculorum was released July 29th 2020 from Opa Loka Records
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We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!