A beautiful – yet frequently eerie – middle eastern inflected, meditative experience; these semi-ambient albums from My Silent Wake always surprise and always seep under your skin and Invitation To Imperfection is no exception. It practically goes without saying that we’re greater fans of MSW’s death/doom output but there’s a time and place for the ‘heavy’ and there’s definitely a time and a place for the kind of music that takes you to realms unexplored; Invitation To Imperfection is that kind of release.
There are moments here (“Tempest”) that invoke two cultures simultaneously, with both Middle Eastern influences and Britain’s pagan past appearing to collide in a kaleidoscope of sound, jettisoning all manner of preconception in favour of a journey of unending discovery; it’s a heady trip worth taking even if ‘riffs’ and vocals are noticeably absent for much of Invitation To Imperfection’s duration.
Predominatly instrumental, when vocals are used on Invitation To Imperfection they’re used sparingly and effectively. Take the mesmerising acoustic chants of “Lament Of The Deafitist” for example, more than just a hint of menace pervades as an almost stream of consciousness narration of human frailty is delivered simply and effectively. “Song Of Acceptance” then acts as its companion piece, still burrowing under the skin with its melancholy refrains but adding just a glimpse of positivity to proceedings. Overall, these two tracks alone make Invitation To Imperfection unmissable but there’s still more facets to this piece than first meets the eye and ear. The word ambient normally sends shivers down our spine (and not in a good way) but the futuristic sheen of the hypnotic “Aventurine” surprises and cajoles. Quite the turn of events for our metal ravaged ears!
As opposed to an invitation to imperfection, this is an invitation to introspection, an album that contradicts all of metal’s rules and yet should appeal to metallers with a taste for adventure. No more so than on the 21 minute(!), medieval time-tunnel that is “Melodien Der Waldgeister”. Surprisingly effective, this back-in-time epic achieves so much with very little, conjuring vivid imagery with just the use of flute, bird-song and nature’s sounds in all their glory.
My Silent Wake are fast turning into a band that Worship Metal are seriously bowing down to and (ironically) worshipping. Each release from this outstandingly creative band only endears them to us more and Invitation To Imperfection is no exception. 8/10