My Silent Wake for the uninitiated is the brain children of Ian Arkley, the former guitar player, vocalist of perennial thrash favorite Seventh Angel. However since the demise of Seventh Angel he has carried on in several other bands including Century Sleeper, Ashen Mortality and Paramaecium. All of the bands since Seventh Angel have fallen more into the category of doom metal.
Many fans will remember the rather bold lyrical stances taken on those Seventh Angel releases and if they were to come to these releases with those same expectations they would be disappointed in that regard. In light of those differences it can be said that the lyrical concepts discussed by My Silent Wake are of a more introspective and reflective tone. Questions are asked that don’t have neat and tidy answers, which causes one to think. Not enough thinking goes on at times, too much talking.
The Anatomy of Melancholy is actually a double album. First Volume is pure bone crunching gothic tinged doom metal, strong and powerful. Extreme vocals mixed with hauntingly crushing melodies, not for the squeamish. Heretic is such a strong song.
The other volume (The Last Volume) is just the opposite, an acoustic issue that is simply beautiful in a dark and foreboding way. Acoustic and classical guitars, mandolin, percussion, cello, clarinet, piano are played that should give you an idea of what to expect musically. Revolution is perhaps my favorite track here, wow. It just strikes the emotional chords and leaves a haunting melody behind. (Reminds me of a cold overcast day at the ocean, love it)
This reissue has been remastered by sound engineer Jeff Mortimer, who actually mastered the album originally. As I don’t have the original releases to compare to I will simply say, the clarity on this album is fabulous. It is heavy and powerful with some very solid dynamic range as there are plenty of subtle passages on first volume to contrast the bombast. The sound is huge or in a word EPIC!
Perhaps best described as gothic/doom metal (MSW uses this description themselves) but clearly that is not all they’re about. Straight from their website “The bands style could be described as gothic death doom, although it also includes more varied elements. Their influences are wide ranging but predominantly include early Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Trouble, Celtic Frost and of course Black Sabbath.”
My Silent Wake has done us a great service (along with Bombworks) in reissuing this album. This release is dark and foreboding with plenty of lyrical themes about life that can cause the average person to miss the point. I will simply say as I said before; My Silent Wake The Anatomy of Melancholy in a word, EPIC!