My Silent Wake / The Drowning – Black Lights & Silent Roads Split Album   1 comment

This is a split album from My Silent Wake (UK) and The Drowning (UK), both Death/Doom/Gothic Metal but both compliment each other with different approaches to music. My Silent Wake has been very busy since forming in 2005 with 3 full length albums (“Shadow Of Sorrow” in 2006, a 2CD set in 2007 called “The Anatomy of Melancholy” and “A Garland of Tears” in 2008). They also released a self titled EP as their debut in 2005 so they have already a substantial body of work behind them. The Drowning also formed in 2005 and quickly released a Ep titled “Withered” follow by a full length album in “When The Light Was Taken From Us” in 2006 and another full length album in 2008 titled “This Bleak Descent”. The “Black Lights and Silent Roads” split offers up four songs from each band with a total running time of 73 minutes so you get your value for money here.

My Silent Wake are the first band up and their songs are like being lost during a black-out, very dark, moody with a feeling of despair and hopelessness. The first song up is  a cover of Attrition’s “I Am (Eternity)” and while I am not familiar with Attrition, this track seems to suit the style of the band without knowing the original version that is though. The aptly titled “Bleak Endless Winter” is very strong in the guitar department and Ian Arkley vocals are also very impressive in this tune. “Devoid Of Light” which is a cover version of a Drowning song from their “When The Light Was Taken From Us” album. This version however uses string instruments and is very powerful but they save the best till last with the 23 minute epic “Rebirth”. This shows a different side to My Silent Wake as its far more progressive than the other 3 songs with a more 70’s approach to epic song-building. The song ranges from the melancholic to the extreme especially with the vocals and despite its repetitious nature, “Rebirth” is still a very interesting and stimulating track. It so good that the following four songs from The Drowning seem to be over-shadowed by its greatness.

Overall The Drowning sound heavier than My Silent Wake but also more straight-forward in their Heavy Metal style. “The Doomsday Feire” begin their four tracks in a typical British doom/death style and they can really deliver the style in a very definite way. “Arc Light” is a bit more run of the mill material but the next track “Silent Epiphany” is the highlight of their part of this split album. Its more upbeat so it provides a break in the endless melancholy at this point in the duel recording. While The Drowning are big on melodies, they have also have a strong influence of Black and Death Metal bands within their mostly Gothic Doom Metal style. The final track they bring to the table is “A Photograph” which just like “Arc Light” seems very typical of the genre. I also have a bit of a problem with vocalist James Moore, his grunting style gets a little tedious for me but that is just a personal taste situation as I am sure others will like it. So who wins this battle of Doom, for my money its My Silent Wake. In part its due to the epic “Rebirth” track which is really the centerpiece to the entire disc but its also because they add a few more twists and turns and overall sound more dynamic and diverse.

This is a very good split album though from two of the leading bands in the Death/Gothic Doom Metal genre from the UK. Fans of My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, Agalloch, Katatonia, Anathema will appreciate this the most but neither band is simply recycling riffs or ideas here, they are both valid entries into the Death Doom melting pot and both should be recognize for their abilities. A very fine split album from two very good bands. 8/10

My Silent Wake My Space
My Silent Wake Official Website
Official The Drowning
The Drowning @ Myspace
BombWorks Records

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Posted August 20, 2010 by doommantia in My Silent Wake, The Drowning

One response to “My Silent Wake / The Drowning – Black Lights & Silent Roads Split Album

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  1. Thanks for the great review! Ian MSW

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