Damnatio Memoriae [ALBUM REVIEW]

MySilentWake_AlbumCoverBand/Artist: My Silent Wake
Release House: Bombworks Records
Genre:  Doom Metal
One Sentence Synopsis: Dark, melodic exploration of  Faith vs. Loss of Faith and Despair vs. Hope.
Similar Sounding Bands: My Dying Bride , Novembers Doom , Paramæcium
Series: Standalone
Single/EP/Album: Album
Release Date: April 10, 2015
Running Time: 55 min
MSRP: $9.99
Discount Link: Click Here
Website: Click Here
Music Video: Click Here
Reviewed by: Reverend Leviathan
Final Score: 3 Moons (out of 5)

Damnatio Memoriae marks the eighth release for British Gothic doom/death metal band, My Silent Wake.  Headed by Ian Arkley (guitars, vocals, keys), the band welcomes new members Addam Westlake (bass) and Gareth Arlett (drums).  And with the new lineup comes a few changes with the new recording.

Theme

When the opening track began I knew I was in for something different.  No slow moving guitars powering up into a long metallic symphony.  Instead, it’s very angry, metal and to the point.  As the album progressed so did the metal.  When track four hit that’s when I heard some of the My Silent Wake that I was used to (more singing, slower doom metal sound) and then we moved back into the metal.  I am a fan of metal so this did not detract me from enjoying the music; it just took me by surprise.

Lyrically speaking, Ian Arkley is very good at conveying his anguish and confusion in poetic ways (the British always are).  The song Of Fury really hit me hard as you can feel his frustration with people who do violence in the name of God/religion.  Due to previous work with Christian metal band Seventh Angel, this song would probably confuse any fans of his former work, and you can sense he’s progressed and changed in his worldview.  My other favorite song is Black Oil in which he uses the imagery of an oil slick to illustrate his depression.  The Empty Unknown could be seen as a sum up of all Ian’s feelings throughout the album.  It is the longest track (over 10 minutes) that takes you on his mental journey.

Presentation

I am very much used to My Silent Wake having more of a Gothic doom sound, but a lot of that seems to be lost in this album aside from a few tracks.  This album is very metal in tone with Ian doing more screaming and growling than singing like he did in previous releases.  Black Oil retained his singing style and the doom sound (which is probably why it’s my favorite track), and The Empty Unknown presents us with a very good drawn out song that combines the heavy growling with drawn out chords and singing.

Though the doom is lacking, Ian’s heartfelt lyrics are definitely retained.  His prose and poetry mix very well with the mood of the album.

Gothic Fit

Goths who can appreciate metal would enjoy this release.  Ian’s lyrics can be liked by the Gothic community, as they are very poetic and dark in tone.  However, the Gothic influence is lacking in this album as compared to previous My Silent Wake releases.

Closing Thoughts

Fans of My Silent Wake, prepare for some changes.  Different but still enjoyable.

Theme: 3.5 Moons
Presentation: 4.0 Moons
Gothic Fit: 1.0 Moons
Final Score (not an average): 3 Moons (out of 5)

Score: Three Moons

Author: Reverend Leviathan

Reverend Leviathan is the Music & Media Editor at DarkestGoth Magazine.

He has been part of the Gothic community since his high school years. He released an album in 2008 entitled "Eden's Graveyard" and has also self-published a book, Gothlic: The Testimony of a Catholic Goth. He specializes in music (Goth, ambient, industrial, horror punk and doom metal) and independent films. You can follow him at Facebook.com/revleviathan7.

If you have questions about having your music or media reviewed or featured at DarkestGoth, you can email Reverend Leviathan directly. (Not all music or media will be eligible for coverage by DGM, due to its style or the current knowledge base of DGM staff. If your media is accepted, we are currently estimating a 90-120 day turnaround for reviews and/or other coverage, so please plan requests accordingly.)

Share This Post On

1 Comment

  1. I agree, this is a heavier album and for those of us who got into them because if their blending of sombre soundscapes and acoustic moments this LP was a little bit of a shock. But I really like it, MSW are a metal band after all and I can handle a whole album. I just hope the more ‘feminine’ side if the band resurfaces at sone point..

    Post a Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.