Celebrating 10 years as pioneering death/doom architects, My Silent Wake have fashioned a retrospective that honours their astounding productivity over the last decade. While, as with any retrospective, fans may grumble at certain omissions – we sorely missed “Of Fury” from last years outstanding Damnatio Memoriae for instance – as a collective it’s hard to find fault in any song contained within An Unbroken Threnody 2005 – 2015.
Resisting the urge to simply comment on each and every track, all of which rightfully earn their place here, it seems prescient to focus on the songs that showcase the sheer diversity of sound My Silent Wake have at their disposal.
Often found providing the kind of gothic grandeur once spearheaded by Paradise Lost, My Silent Wake may often channel the spirit of Nick Holmes, Gregor Mackintosh et all but they also maintain their own identity. “The Last Man”, taken from 2013’s Silver Under Midnight, is such a track, a highly melodic gothic metal workout with death/doom undertones that could have nestled nicely on Draconian Times but stands on its own two feet; just one facet of My Silent Wake’s almost schizophrenic range.
As an alternative, the recent release of the aforementioned Damnatio Memoriae showcased a more streamlined and subtly brutal sound. “And So It Comes To An End” drew comparisons with My Dying Bride’s melancholy doom of old while the almost playful nature of the up tempo “Highwire” toyed with the notion that doom has to lurch from one painfully drawn-out riff to another; crushing heaviness that was less gothic and more crushing, old-school, doom metal at its finest.
Taken from their debut, Shadow Of Sorrow, “Burning” – in comparison – was death metal incarnate. Dropping the doom for a distorted, swedish death metal-esque, excursion into pacy and pitiless realms it’s totally at odds with the experimental ambient sounds of “Mimir’s Well”.
These two tracks ably highlight the sheer breadth of influences that make up My Silent Wake’s signature sound. Utterly fearless in their death/doom incarnation – the primal work-out of “Oblivion” should satisfy the death metal purists – their ability to also conjure unnerving yet tranquil scenes under their experimental guise offers a thrilling juxtaposition.
An exquisite collection from one of the UK’s most undervalued bands. This retrospective proves one thing; My Silent Wake are over a decade into a career that has unveiled an astonishing array of releases, exemplified by the 13 tracks cannily chosen to grace An Unbroken Threnody 2005 – 2015.
The next 10 years should prove to be just as thrilling and equally unpredictable. 9/10
1 – Sturm
2 – The Last Man
3 – And So It Comes To An End
4 – Cruel Grey Skies
5 – Burning
6 – Journey’s End
7 – Oblivion
8 – Tunnels
9 – The Dying Things We’re Living For
10 – Bleak Endless Winter
11 – Highwire
12 – Shadow Of Sorrow
13 – Mímir’s Well