There Was Death [ALBUM REVIEW]

Band/Artist: My Silent Wake
Release House: Minotauro Records
Genre: Doom Metal
One Sentence Synopsis: Tenth studio album from My Silent Wake
Series: Standalone
Single/EP/Album: Album
Release Date: February 2018 (Exact date TBA)
Running Time: 63 min
MSRP: TBA
Website: Click Here
Sample/Music Video: Click Here
Purchase Site: Click Here
Reviewed by: Reverend Leviathan
Final Score: 4.5 Moons (Out of 5.0)

After two experimental/ambient albums, UK doom metal band My Silent Wake releases their first metal album since Damnatio Memoriae (2015).  Set for a release sometime in mid-February, There Was Death will be the band’s tenth studio album, and contains some of their heaviest stuff to date with guest doom metal legend Greg Chandler of Esoteric, providing some growls and additional keys.

Theme

Brilliant Moon Award

Even though I liked Damnatio Memoriae, I was disappointed that there weren’t a lot of keys; There Was Death makes up for that!  The album is very key-heavy, and anything laced with keys makes it better.  I knew this would have a much darker, heavier mood with the first track, “A Dying Man’s Wish.”  The keys and choir arrangement are in your face right at the beginning, so the listeners who liked that side of My Silent Wake are in for a treat!

Appropriately titled, the album deals a lot with the subject of death, sorrow, and suffering.  One notable track is “Ghosts of Parlous Lives.”  One of the longest songs on the album, it begins with a very beautiful acoustic opener.  It speaks of “ghosts of vanquished lives,” and those who “watched their beloved suffer,” now calling on them to haunt those who caused the suffering.  “No End to Sorrow” is a great electric version of the acoustic “My Sorrow is Yours.”  This might be the first album on which I’ve heard Ian Arkley drop the F-bomb.

Presentation

I was long-awaiting another metal album from My Silent Wake, and the doom metal giants really impressed me with this release.  I was so happy that they brought back the keys after their absence on Damnatio Memoriae, and the background choir arrangements are mixed so well with the music.  The mood of a doom metal album is just so much darker and better with keys and a choir, and There Was Death does not lack in that in any form.  I kind of wish we could have heard more of Ian singing though.

This very well might be my new favorite album from them.  My favorite track is most definitely “Ghosts of Parlous Lives.”  That song contains everything I love about My Silent Wake: The acoustic sound, Ian Arkley’s singing voice mixed with his growling, keys, female backing vocals, a choir, and beautiful lyrics.  It really sounds like a lot of thought and precision went into the making of this album.

My Silent Wake (Photo Credit: Tim Ziegeler)

My Silent Wake (Photo Credit: Tim Ziegeler)

Gothic Fit

A darkness abides in There Was Death that does not exist in previous My Silent Wake albums.  “Doom” is correctly used as a style of metal in this album.  Though it remains doom metal, it’s definitely flirting with the Gothic metal subgenre.  An album focused on death, suffering and sorrow should be appealing to any stereotypical Goth, right?  The death-themed album and darker sound will be appreciated.

Closing Thoughts

My Silent Wake drops one of their heaviest – and best – albums to date!  Don’t call yourself a doom metal fanatic without having There Was Death in your collection!

      Theme: 5.0 Moons (out of 5.0)
      Presentation: 5.0 Moons (out of 5.0)
      Gothic Fit: 3.5 Moons (out of 5.0)
      Final Score (not an average): 4.5 Moons (out of 5.0)

Score: Four point five 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.)

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