It takes a ton of effort to change one’s life, especially if demons and personal hardships are standing in the way of transformation. It infuriates me when people write off those struggling with addiction because it’s a self-made issue. It is, and it isn’t, and what is wrong with showing compassion for someone whose life and struggles you really don’t understand?
Much of that is at the heart of “Misery Rites,” the new record from Canadian grind destroyers Wake, who created this conceptual piece about a person working through issues such as depression and addiction and bringing about a metaphorical death by trying to stamp out these matters. But in the end, the cycle just repeats itself, and even after all of the toil, the person is back at square one. It’s easy to understand how that could be frustrating as fuck, and that anger spews forth from the nine songs that band created for this album, their first since 2016’s “Sowing the Seeds Toward a Worthless Tomorrow,” itself not exactly a pick-me-up of a name. Here, the band finds a new home at Translation Loss, a fitting place for them, and the members—vocalist Kyle Ball, guitarists Rob LaChance and Arjun Gill, and drummer Josh Bueckert—deliver fury and punishment befitting the record’s theme and messages.
“Exhumation” begins the record as noise spills, guitars cut through the pain, and we get into slow sludging and menacing growls. “The cycle starts again!” Ball wails, as the track hits the mud pits, and then we’re into the title cut that tears off the bandage in one swift motion. The track demolishes with savage punishment, while the vocals lurch, the song smothers, and Ball howls about “endless suffering.” Duly noted. “Embers” packs a huge punch, as the pace is fiery and fast, and the bulk of this thing is outright blistering. Later on, even the vocals soak in the mud, and the track ends in a disorienting wave of noise. “Rot” splatters everywhere, while the vocals gurgle and strike, and then deep growls blacken the blood that has already pooled. Things continue to be volatile, as the track ends on a punchy note. “Paradigm Lost” is violent as hell and absolutely destructive. The track grinds you severely, while noise hangs in the air, roars tear things apart, and we end in death metal-style hell.
“Exile” also tears open, as the track pounds bones, and the vocals lacerate your veins. A metallic stomp causes a dust up, but then things are pulled back as the tempo burns away. That doesn’t last long as we’re back to a dizzying pace that gives way to a monstrous end. “Rumination” simmers in gory death, as the vocals are shrieky as hell, but then Ball segues into a deathy, gory delivery. The band continues to smear you into the cinders before things end abruptly. “Bitter Winter” grinds away, while the vocals get ugly and mean, and the playing slowly batters. The band keeps driving away, bleeding out and heading right into 7:38-long album closer “Burial Ground” that opens spaciously before the death sprawl begins firing. The growls gurgle acid, and even when calms arrives and spreads blue skies, it’s not long until we’re back into sludging heaviness and swelling noise. The band finds new ways to mash your senses before a noise glaze arrives, and the record ends in a pit of fire.
Wake’s music remains volatile and sharp, and “Misery Rites” is a bludgeoning fist to the face, bringing you back to reality to face your own matters. These songs are massive and heavy as all hell, the perfect gateway into self-examination and, in some cases, self-loathing. It’s not a pretty picture they paint, but that’s just as we expect from them, and Wake never disappoint.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/wakegrind/
To buy the album, go here: http://translationlossrecords.bigcartel.com/
For more on the label, go here: https://www.translationloss.com/