I first became aware of Rwake a few years ago at the Roadburn Festival in Holland, where they were gave a real stand out performance of their rhythmic sludge mixed with experimental electronics and primal crust/grind screaming vocals. I remember being disappointed at the time that they didn’t have any recorded material for me to pick up, something I have rectified in the meantime, and now we have the opportunity to delve back to the start of their twenty year history with this remastered collection of their earliest recordings.
Fair play, it demonstrates a well evolved level of intense musicianship emanating from the backwoods of Little Rock, Arkansas, even at this stage, especially in the uncompromising multi-layered, psychedelic atmospherics they create. Having seven musicians involved in this is a factor in that, but also there is some vision in the variety they put into these first pieces, ranging from stark acoustic numbers to dark ambient to formative examples of their core tribal sludge riffing.
Personally I see a connection to the cult sick electronic act GGFH, meeting the heavier distorted riffing of earlier Neurosis, but upping the filth stakes with nods to the more experimental grind of Brutal Truth. Some tracks only a couple of minute interludes, others more familiar song structures, it is instantly grabbing and involving, with almost a ritual like progression and focus through the songs, although this is no happy journey.
Indeed, the truly harrowing vocals, especially from “The B”, do evoke some possessed witch and cathartic horror. The first six songs are mere steps on the descent to the forty-five minute hell of the final track, “Calibos/So Fucking Tired”, a beautiful/horrible shifting epic with some many ingredients. Twisted samples and electronics, vocal cut ups and white noise, hypnotic rumbling grooves, this is comedown music for the early hours where you have to be very sure of your sanity before indulging.
You could enjoy it in the dark or with the enhancement of the 3D sleeve (glasses provided) – some trip indeed.
REVIEW BY: Mark
Find out more about Rwake at ALLHEAVYMETAL.NET