My Silent Wake
A Garland of Tears

Despite releasing now three albums of remarkable Metal music, England’s My Silent Wake seems to go largely unnoticed. Part of this, I believe, is that they don’t belong to a singular genre. The band deftly combines elements of Doom, Death and Folk Metal utilizing four vocalists while creating waves of melancholic mastery. One can find influence on hand from the likes of My Dying Bride and early Paradise Lost, even touches of Agolloch and Amorphis. This is good stuff here.

The 11-minute “Tunnels” gets things going in fine form with dark, folk-tinged Metal goodness. A swelling clean guitar intro makes way for a soothing clean vocal passage (there’s no text indicating who did what vocals). Death vocals and huge guitars soon take over and it’s crushing. The song travels through many peaks and chasms, from the beautiful to the creepy, giving the listener firm evidence as to what the band are all about. Instrumental “Pendulum” is a piece of traditional folk styled music sounding like something straight out of a period film (or Renaissance fair). Mid-way through the album, “By My Own Hand” brings the despair in full force with is slow, trudging tempo and somber melodies. The acoustic number “Fallen Leaves” is simply stunning…beautiful piece with the vocal really shining. The added organ on “Wilderness Of Thorns”, in addition to the doubled male/female vocals, gives a funerary presence while the growled vocals sound extremely urgent and intense…especially during the blast beat section. The whole album has a bleak, sad vibe about it. Yet, lyrically, they don’t leave it at that. There is plenty of grief and anguish to go around, but My Silent Wake isn’t content to remain there, alluding to something of a “light at the end of the tunnel”, however dim it may seem.

While not necessarily turning the genre on its ear, My Silent Wake delivers a formidable album that is traditional enough for the purists, yet diverse enough for those who like a little bit of variation…nothing overwrought and nothing monotonous. Sonically, there’s a slightly raw, almost live feel about it that does nothing but add to the appeal of the music. Fans of the aforementioned bands and of the style in general can, and I believe will, find plenty to love about A Garland Of Tears and inundate themselves with repeated listens.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Shawn Pelata
October 30th, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: Mike

    My wife has been a fan since the Ashen Mortality days. She hates the new MSW.


  2. Commented by: Belgarath

    Sounds great. I’ll definitely check it out.


  3. Commented by: Nick

    It’s a great album. I’m getting it on coloured viynl.


  4. Commented by: Andi

    Thanks for the nice review, we really enjoyed making it! The vocals are generally done by Ian, with the more blackened sounding vocals (a bit higher and harsher) are done by Jason. Kate does all the female vocals, and I (Andi) did the vocals on the middle section of Wilderness of Thorns.


  5. Commented by: Tony Single

    I cannot wait to hear this. I have the previous My Silent Wake releases, and can attest to their sonic and lyrical brilliance!


  6. Commented by: Mary

    Really a fantastic album!!! I LOVE it!!!!!!!


  7. Commented by: ian

    Thanks for the kind comments!


  8. Commented by: A Garland of Praises « Trottersville

    […] amidst all my babble, I’ve been listening to their fresh new release, A Garland of Tears, and it’s already clear to me that, like their previous albums, it’ll be staying in my CD […]


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