In the very crowded world of Death Metal a la Gothenburg the Finnish Band THE WAKE is often considered as a band that never reaches its full potential and keeps walking the path of mediocrity. Not to say that it’s a bad band, but with some many bands playing the same style you’ll have to do something special to be noticed. Even more so when albums like “Character” are still created.
Now “Death-A-Holic” has reached my ear and upon listening I am pleasantly surprised. All the Gothenburg characteristics are still present but the music is played in a fresh way and the fine musicianship always manages to reach me. “Suicide Manual” as a matter of fact is a great song that can easily compete with genre classics. The guitar playing is not very original yet the riffs are very catchy and highly melodic. Towards the end of the song there are some brilliant solos as well. And it’s only the first song…
The following songs can keep up with the opener quality wise although there aren’t typical hooks to be heard. In a typical Melo-Death production, meaning very clear and powerful, you get awesome fast guitar harmonies, melodic leads and precise drumming. The comparisons with DARK TRANQUILLITY, IN FLAMES and WITHERING SURFACE are easy to make but of course extremely valid.
And sometimes there is a song that you just want to keep playing and playing; “Good For Nothing” has such awesome Heavy Metal like harmonies that it’s easily the stand out track of the album and simply a fine example of typical Gothenburg Death metal.
Those who like the Gothenburg sound and the masters of the style (DT, IN FLAMES) will like this album for sure. Likewise, if you don’t like the style there’s absolutely no point in picking up this CD. While there is nothing new offered here the music is still played with class and the quality is definitely present. THE WAKE can be considered a fine representative of the style now, even if not coming from Sweden at all. (Online March 26, 2006)