Album Review: WAKE Misery Rites
The newest record from Wake named Misery Rites—arriving by way of Translation Loss Records—makes for a raging, savage trip. The Canadian grindcore act’s sophomore release, Misery Rites rips and slams its way from beginning to end; unleashing nine tracks of pure chaos. With an ever-building energy pumping throughout the material, Wake offers their best work up to this point in their career.
Wake undoubtedly plays around with the traditional aspects of grind, tossing in rampant blast beats and gnawing guitars. The quartet keeps its music fresh by employing plenty of death metal qualities as well as tossing in some sludge-like elements. Vocalist Kyle Ball brings forth a dark drawl, adding a murky tint to the instrumentation. There’s a balance between drawn out, sludge-heavy movements and tracks where the tempo rides away on vibrant tones—thanks to guitarists Arjun Gill and Rob LaChance. The record owes thanks to drummer Josh Bueckert and bassist Reid Gennutt for providing a low-end foundation that amplifies the guitar work; while also adding a thunderous heft to each work.
The opening track, “Exhumation”, slowly gets the gears going. It’s more of an atmospheric title, looming with distortion and death metal growls. The instrumentation trudges, building up the tension for what’s to come next. The self-titled track is an immediate shift in direction, tearing away without hesitation. The vocals bark out alongside shredding guitar work and blistering drums. While there’s a darkness to the instrumentals, one will find this strings of bright notes playing through the material.
“Embers” picks up the intensity from the previous song, bringing forth more technicality into the guitar. Here we find the sound contorting, along with the entirety of the atmosphere picking up on lighter tones. These elements come together to present an annihilating mixture of anxiety, swirling and pummeling the listener’s eardrums every second.
“Exile” slows things down, while still maintaining just as much potency in anger as felt in earlier tracks. In the latter portion of the record, the grind qualities start to become a little repetitive. This, however, never takes away from the overall quality of the album. The final song, “Burial Ground”, is the one exception to this. As the longest title on the album, it’s a superb way to end things. Combining the styles of grind and death, Wake presents an ever-fluctuating song that goes from pummeling drums to balancing drilling guitar work alongside a gloomy atmosphere.
Misery Rites is an excellent addition to Wake’s work. Even if there are some repetitive moments in the second half of the record, the majority of it makes for tension fueled grindcore that embodies many other styles within it, producing truly enjoyable and aggressive music.