North Somerset is autonomic part of Somerset County located in south-west England, autonomic in political meaning. Anyway, even if it takes not so little area there live something like 210.000 people. It means that it’s rather country environment where agriculture is the main source of livelihood. But members of MY SILENT WAKE live in the biggest town (what doesn’t mean that it’s big – population is something about 76.000) Weston super Mare.
The band was founded in 2005 and until now from original line-up stayed only Ian Arkley (guitars, piano, e-bow, synth, didgeridoo, voc – during gigs he can be very busy guy – even if I can hear on this album practically only guitars and voc, sometimes a little keyboards). Other musicians changed often here. I found information that band has any associations with so called Christian Metal and members have different beliefs. I mentioned about it because it seems that it’s important for the band. Anyway, they have surprisingly many releases as on so many changes in line-up. “Damnatio Memoriae” is their eighth album and there were also compilations, singles, EPs, splits and DVD.
So, this time guys serve us with eight mostly long and in one case (“The Empty Unknown”) very long one. Music is described by guys as Gothic/Death/Doom Metal. With two last I agree in 100%, but unfortunately I didn’t noticed Gothic elements here. In my opinion, this is classic based on old good English Death/Doom patterns. I will not mention names of bands which I’m talking about now, because I’m sure that everyone know what I mean. But it’s rather about their oldest releases like “As the Flowers Withers” or “Shades of Gods”. So, music in general is heavy as well. Riffs are mostly just like they should be: heavy, but in the same time melodic and played on low tuned guitar. There’re of course more melodic ones. Ian often repeats them several times. But also change them quite often – yeah, sometimes these changes are subtle, but they’re rather easy to notice since music is in slow tempo. I hear often influences of mentioned above bands, but not only of course. Anyway, quite often we can hear here two tracks of guitar what means that Ian had to spend longer time in studio than other musicians (guys recorded “Damnatio Memoriae”) in three. His vocal is classic as well growling. It generally doesn’t turn to clean singing – exceptions are rare and one of them we have in “The Empty Unknown” where some short fragments associate for me with PINK FLOYD. Second one is “Chaos Enfolds Me” where clean vocal dominates in first part of the song.
Drumming is of course is slow tempo as guitar. But it’s also variable the same. We’ll don’t hear some complicated, twisted passages and other stuff like that, but only deaf could say that Gareth (Arlett) plays monotonous! He does it in rather spare style. He uses as many cymbals as it needs structure of individual compositions, of course. The fact that music is interesting, surely impacts that we hear from time to time Addam’s (Westlake) bass which pulse in very nice way.
In my opinion it’s good band and album. The truth is that somebody who look for brutality in its colloquial meaning shouldn’t even try to listen to this. But I think that on its way music of MY SILENT WAKE is brutal – there’s not only one kind of brutality in music.