Wake - Sowing the Seeds of a Worthless Tomorrow - (9/10)
Published on April 13, 2016
“You Gain No Momentum When You’re Falling Through Cracks”
Wake is a Canadian grindcore act that has been crushing the scene since their first release in 2010. Their brand of intensity comes complete with some punishingly heavy sludge and doom influences as well as the occasional bits of black metal. The bands third full-length, Sowing The Seeds of A Worthless Tomorrow came out earlier in February of 2016 via Everydayhate (as well as 7 Degress and Nerve Altar, handling the European and American vinyl releases respectively as well as Sentient Ruin Laboratories taking care of cassette tape duties). In a brief 19 and a half minutes, Wake manage to pummel the listener into the ground with sharp technical skills, but also just create something with such a groove and memorability that you can’t help but listen over and over.
Despite the slower intro to the opening track, there is very little in the way of any breathing room on Sowing Seeds. Wake have been able capture some utter intensity in such a short play-time and also bring in various influences to the mix. “Burn Well” starts the album off with a bang showcasing the grind act at its best. The song is a great idea of what’s to come with the great precision playing skills of each member. The drums are blasting away under the ever-changing riffs and breakneck speed of the guitars while the bass is not being a slouch by any means, matching the intensity perfectly and being able to really drive home the heaviness the band is capable of.
The band is also great at slowing things down and creating a different kind of heavy. The grind sections transition perfectly to the slower doom and sludge moments. When the pace slows down on the record, the band continue to work at creating something memorable and something you can easily headbang to while not letting up on the heaviness. The guitar tone has certainly a lot to do with this, being perfectly worked for either a fast or slow section. The longer tracks feature some extended slower sections, but once again are able to change back to grinding glory at the drop of a hat.
Vocally, the album does not deviate way from a harsh vocal, usually a more mid to deeper range bark, but there are a few flashes of a higher shriek as well at play, adding just more and more layers to what Wake is doing. With the shorter run-time, the band has found great balance as well of where to place certain vocal lines or even tempo changes to keep the album flowing smoothly and also keeps up the memorability. Less than 20 minutes for an album is not by any means new to the genre, but Wake are creating some of the better 20 minutes to come around in a while. The production and mixing is wonderful, as each little riff change or vocal shout is picked up perfectly and never feels drowned out. Drumming is done great justice as it never gets muddied up and whether its a crash of a symbol or a blast beat, it sounds warm and full.
Wake are still fairly young to the scene, releasing material for only about six years, but it has not stopped them from honing their craft and managing to already build up a great following. Sowing Seeds Of A Worthless Tomorrow is just another great addition to the band’s catalogue and a wonderful grind release. It would come as no surprise to see Wake get more eyes on them in 2016 and beyond.