Waking the Cadaver
Beyond Cops, Beyond God

Let’s not beat around the corpse. Waking the Cadaver is a death metal band, even if their debut had detractors screaming otherwise. Believing or even promoting otherwise is absurd, and maintaining the perception that they are anything but death metal is a weak argument. However, determining how good their gore slamming racket is, and determining whether it is worthy of praise or to be lambasted is another matter, be it one that makes for intriguing discourse.

Especially as Death Metal, and particularly the “slam,” strain could be on the verge of infecting an even wider audience as each month, even day passes. At times it feels seemingly unthinkable given that a mere 10-12 years ago, this music was all but “dead,” in the eyes of the main players in mainstream metal media (but then again, what do they know?). With Devourment and Pathology on the closest they’ll ever be to commercial labels (given the context), and with Waking the Cadaver on another heavy hitter (Siege of Amida/Candlelight), the simple question is whether the music is worth hammer smashing someone’s face about?

On “Beyond Cops, Beyond God,” they have refined their burly cacophony, stalking now with the precision of a laser sighted, high powered sniper rifle with all the trimmings, whereas on their debut, they had the finesse of a 12-gauge pump action. Despite the differences in method, what both albums have, is impact, and that’s what is most crucial. This follow up is more surgically precise, and less erratic, striking accurately rather than broadly. One of the best representations is the shift in vocal delivery by Don Campan. If anything, he was responsible for creating some of the most ridiculous, not to mention painful vocal textures heard in Death Metal.

Here though, he has focused his range, going for a steady palette of techniques rather than schizophrenic acrobatics at all moments possible. For the most, he employs a bellowing, ghetto tinged Frank Mullen style roar, tarred with a Jersey attitude that leads to believe that the hardcore greats of the garden state are as much of an influence as “Effigy of the Forgotten,” “Destroy the Opposition,” or “Molesting the Decapitated.”

Take “Reign Supreme,” despite leading with a buzzing classic death riff, it gives way to a glorious stomp that is as much for two stepping as it is for windmilling and slamming, and speaking of slam, there are plenty of gloriously solid chunky riffs weaving in and out of the three minute duration. The hardcore influence is hinted at again during the track’s conclusion with the presence of gang vocals, be it briefly.

“Sadistic Tortures,” one of the best, as well as the longest cuts on the disc, displays the aforementioned precision of the band’s approach. Each riff, beat, vocal pattern is deftly juxtaposed, weighted and timed to ensure maximum flow, and to never sit and procrastinate on one riff, beat or rhythm. It pounds sublimely, switching between blasts and double bass flurries with sumptuous ease and possessing some of the best riffing forty five seconds before the end.

Meatiest and most sumptuous of all though is “Terminate with Extreme Prejudice,” boasting not only one of the best song titles of the year; it is carried by sweetly dense chugs, beats, and the vitriolic power of Campan’s vocals.

What’s most impressive is how well the music overall is forged, maybe it’s the presence of new guitarists or just touring hard for two years, but there is almost zero filler on the album. The one exception being the band named track, which doesn’t serve any real purpose, neither as an interlude or a prelude to the album’s close, but can be forgiven given its brevity and that in the grand scheme, it doesn’t disrupt the album’s flow.

That Waking the Cadaver has made a second album is one thing, but to have made as good an album as “Beyond Cops,” is another. They are definitely on the cusp of something, and if they continue improving as they have done, then there’s little doubt that they’ll be consigned to their coffins in the years to come.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Benjamin DeBlasi
August 23rd, 2010

Comments

  1. Commented by: diego

    this album fucking owns !


  2. Commented by: Mark

    its nice to see this genre is getting more attention lately. I can’t wait for the new Flesh Consumed album thats gonna KILL.

    Some other bands to check out if you like this: Abysmal Torment, Infernal Revulsion, Wormed


  3. Commented by: respect!

    this is the sickest album of 2010! WTC’s naysayers just want to forget this album exists and do anything in their power to stop it. SICKEST ALBUM I’VE HEARD IN A LONG TIME!


  4. Commented by: dave

    pathology and devourment have nothing on WAKING THE CADAVER’S new release. This album will seriously shock everyone who listens.


  5. Commented by: faust666

    it did shock me.. but only in a bad way.. lol. I just don’t like this overall “sound” or genre.


  6. Commented by: JH DOOM

    I received a digital promo of this album and couldn’t even make it through two full tracks. Utterly pathetic in every aspect. Shame to see a respectable label like Candlelight putting this out just because they see dollar signs. Of course, judging from the comments here, the all the numbskull pit jocks out there will lap this shit up. And as long as sites like ToTD continue to act as cheerleaders for the big metal labels and the tripe they put out, bands like this will continue to spread false metal like the plague.


  7. Commented by: cedrick

    JH Doom you are fuckingstupid my friend . false metal in that case every thing metal is false idiot .this album slays your mom !


  8. Commented by: JH DOOM

    @Cedrick (the entertainer?) there is certainly nothing I hate more than being “fuckingstupid”. Thank you so much for pointing out my ignorance with sage words of wisdom such as: “false metal in that case every thing metal is false idiot”. You have made me see the error of my ways with your brilliant prose. From now on, I will only seek out the most half-retarded, poverty-level bands and listen to them furiously.


  9. Commented by: Tyler

    THIS is better than Devourment and Pathology? Hell, of those bands I only love one of them (Devourment), and Pathology is still LEAGUES above this group of posers. As far as the dude that mentioned Abysmal Torment, Infernal Revulsion, and Wormed…I seriously hope that the fans of those bands see what an absolute joke Waking the Cadaver is. Waking the Cadaver is not death metal; it’s not even slam death. It is run of the mill, generic deathcore, played more sloppy and with worse production than normal. If more people than not like this drivel, I’m scared for the future of metal as a genre.


  10. Commented by: xbenx

    JH, I appreciate your comments, and I really like your blog, but I think you’re barking up the wrong tree here on several counts. Firstly, I don’t think TOTD acts as a cheerleader for the big labels; I think most of the writers would in fact be quite offended by such a comment, if you want proof of this you can read my review of Bring Me The Horizon’s new album.

    Secondly, I can’t see WTC as being a capital investment for Candlelight, they aren’t going to generate dollars as much as some of their other bigger bands, simply because of the base they appeal to (which is limited), if anything, Candelight are likely to make more money from their black metal artists than from WTC.

    Tyler, I think it’s a fine line, for some WTC would be a gateway to more underground and challenging acts so there is definitely a place for them. They aren’t the finest band out there but I enjoy them and as for the production, I’m sure you’ve heard Artery Eruption, as much as I enjoy that band I do wish they’d consult a decent producer!


  11. Commented by: JH DOOM

    @ Ben – thanks for the kind words about THKD! Don’t get me wrong, I like what you guys do here at TOTD (otherwise why read it, right?), but I just wish big review sites like this one would just flat out ignore trash like WTC. That is just a combination of my own wishful thinking and old age/grouchiness talking though. I know I am in the minority and a lot of people actually want to read about these types of bands (there is truly no accounting for taste).

    I would argue that signing a band like WTC is clearly Candlelight’s attempt to test the waters of this unfortunate deathcore/slam trend to whether or not it is a bankable for them. Say what you will about a limited audience, but a lot of kids seem to be listening to this shit and starting these types of bands lately. How long it will last is anyone’s guess.


  12. Commented by: xbenx

    Hey JH Doom, no worries at all, the blog is really excellent! And thank you for your kind words and of course, I understand fully where your grievance but I would say it’s better that WTC get coverage then say Papa Roach no? Because 10 years ago, as I’m sure must remember, that would have been the case, EVERYONE wanted to sound like the dreaded you know what, luckily now there is more music then we can ever physically listen to so that dilemma is thankfully avoided.

    Now you make a good point about Candlelight’s strategy here and I don’t want to commit to saying so because I don’t know how the company structure works, but, WTC is officially a Siege of Amida band, from what I understand Candlelight distribute and that’s where it ends, but, I could be wrong. That said, I still don’t think that WTC would be a commercially viable investment, a few years ago Candlelight started to invest in more metalcore bands such as Dead Man In Reno, Of Graves & Gods and a few others from what I remember, most, if not all (I think Dead Man are still going) didn’t do that well and broke up as a result and I’m sure that Candlelight lost rather than gained money there despite investing in bands that were playing a style that was the hot topic then.

    Anyway, as always, time will tell, I don’t think this style will die out completely, tell you what, as I compromise I will push myself to review some of the darker depths of metal’s great ocean, I’ll just have to clear it with the powers that be and also clear my reviews pile first!


  13. Commented by: JH DOOM

    Ben – Ah, I was not aware of the Siege of Amida/Candlelight deal. I guess I should have read the fine print when I downloaded that digital promo. But surely Candlelight had to see some kind of financial gain in order to strike such a bargain with SOAR? I had completely forgotten about Candlelight’s ill-fated dabbling in the metalcore realm… you’d think they would’ve learned their lesson from that. I guess I shouldn’t be so hard on em… it isn’t like they’re are the only label to jump on a trend… I mean look at Roadrunner for crying out loud.

    As for WTC coverage being better than Papa Roach coverage… that I’m not so sure about. I find both bands equally unlistenable. lol

    In all seriousness though, I think a lot of it stems from me getting older and just not really understanding this new stuff “the kids” are into. I’m sure I’m not the only who feels this way, I just happen to be more vocal/obnoxious about it than most.


  14. Commented by: gordeth

    Don’t be hard on yourself, JH Doom. The kids are the ones who don’t understand that this style is nothing more than a simpleminded combination of the most vapid elements of hardcore and death metal. They’re just excited by any loud noises they can mosh to.


  15. Commented by: JH DOOM

    @ Gordeth – You might be right. I know there have been plenty of metal genres/subgenres that were decidedly lacking in substance in the past (hair metal, nu metal, the majority of metalcore etc), but sometimes I really feel like metal has reached it’s nadir. I mean it seems like I’ve gone from discovering a million cool new bands every month to turning my nose up at a million crappy new bands every month. At some point you have to ask yourself the question: “have things really gotten bad or is it just me being old/grouchy/out of touch/etc?! I just can’t imagine kids hearing this stuff for the first time and being moved by it in the same way that I was when I first heard Slayer or Megadeth for instance.


  16. Commented by: gordeth

    JH Doom – It could just be that you’re more exposed to all the crappy bands now because of the internet. In the past, most of these bands would have never been heard outside of their hometowns. Also, label QC has been on a steady decline since the mid ’90s. There are still a lot of great bands out there but you have to wade through a sea of crap to find them.


  17. Commented by: JH DOOM

    Gordeth – Your’re right I’m sure the Internet plays a big part. When I first started getting into metal, you mostly had to look to magazines and such for info on bands. Now, anyone with a guitar and two chords can use myspace, bandcamp, etc to put their music out there, which in a way is kind of a shame. It makes the playing field equal and doesn’t allow for the cream to rise to the top. The world’s worst band can draw as much attention to themselves as the worlds best band. And yes, label quality control is a complete joke these days.


  18. Commented by: Andrew

    Hello…The only other reviews of this band that I have seen are on the metal archives, and they are scathing. I’m not much into devourment or other “slam” bands but I might check this out anyways. Well written review by the way.


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