AlbumsNovember 29, 201111,255 views

Rwake Voices of Omens


1. Intro 2. The Finality 3. Crooked Rivers 4. Fire and Flight 5. Leviticus MP3 6. Of Grievous Abominations 7. Bridge 8. Inverted Overtures 9. The Lure of Light
2007 Relapse Records
Our score 8

by Cory
3/5/2007

Rwake might have started out as four Southern boys jamming for fun way back in 1996, but the last few years have seen them come into their own as a crushing six-piece and a major force in the increasingly popular American doom scene. Their Arkansas roots and traditionally American take on sludgy metal makes them logical successors to other Southern legends like Eyehategod or Crowbar, but their distinctive rock energy and occasionally folk-y edge ensure that Rwake is doing more than standing on the shoulders of giants. They're making their own special place in the same muddy bogs as their predecessors. Voice of Omens is the band's third official album and first for Relapse Records. I can't really imagine how this partnership could not be beneficial for both parties, as Rwake have produced a great record and Relapse is delivering their destructive gospel to the masses. Rwake, like most of the bands that immediately spring to mind as reference points, understand the power of the riff. The driving guitars take center stage in every one of Voice of Omens' lengthy tracks. The other star of the show for me was the drumming which seems to have retained much of the "jam" spirit with which the band began. While the fills and flourishes might not be mind-blowingly complex, they always add to the music and never distract the listener from the songs' respective focal points. The band also features two vocalists, one male and one female, but I'd honestly be hard pressed to tell you which was which at any given point. One aspect of Rwake's style that should definitely appeal to those not particularly inclined towards this genre is their ability to develop both central and peripheral musical themes over the course of their lengthy compositions. "Fire and Flight" for example, begins with a clean guitar line that mutates into a fire-breathing monster before reverting to a more complex version of its former self. There's a lot of really admirable musicianship going on throughout the album and it is most apparent in the songwriting, unlike many similarly talented metal acts. While many of their stylistic contemporaries have taken the repetition of the doom genre to its utmost lengths, Rwake use this element sparingly, choosing instead to constantly adapt their riffs until the listener is forced to marvel at where the songs have ended rather than being reminded of where they began. Bottom Line: Rwake combine a laid-back, occasionally Clearlight-esque rock vibe with the fire and brimstone of doom metal with stunning results on Voice of Omens. Their complex musicianship complements their crushing heaviness well. Whether you're into the style or not, it's hard not to at least admire Rwake's talent. Most relatively open-minded metal fans should be able to get into this.

17 comments

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atab joey bishop_ 3/5/2007 9:06:50 PM

i love this band sooooo much


Chase_ 3/5/2007 9:18:49 PM

This is a really good album, this and the latest Minsk album are really good relapse albums recently.


Fudge_ 3/5/2007 9:23:30 PM

good review. 8/10 seems about right. i still like their last one more. and i wish this one had a stronger closer the same way Hell Is A Door and If You Walk Before You Crawl did. cant wait to see them in April


bboates_ 3/6/2007 12:20:29 AM

dull and bland sum this album up well


truthsayer_ 3/6/2007 12:34:17 AM

This shit rules - I'd give it an easy 9, but I'll take the lambgoat 8.


vcreationv_ 3/6/2007 1:33:55 AM

i give this album 9. i love this band to death. awesom stuff.


denbez_ 3/6/2007 2:58:30 AM

I'd give this a 9. But f*ck it, who cares.


anonymous 3/6/2007 8:17:02 AM

cory, your reviews are getting much better


Nick_ 3/6/2007 10:27:02 AM

Sounds good to me. Just ordered it.


sleepiswrong_ 3/6/2007 12:56:42 PM

awesome album


yousuck_ 3/6/2007 1:32:13 PM

awesome cd. its no 9 though...an 8 is about right. its not their best effort but its real close. cant wait for the new deadbird


Fur_Beach_ 3/6/2007 3:59:46 PM

awesome band. fitting review. great jorb cory.


hannah _ 3/7/2007 1:31:51 PM

8? ok.


bru_ 3/7/2007 5:25:28 PM

this shit good


smokeoutloud_ 3/8/2007 1:36:19 PM

Somebody tell relapse they suck with posting mp3's, i'm sick of trying...


ipecac_ 3/12/2007 4:18:33 PM

mutha's day out


anaturaldisaster_ 3/14/2007 11:37:02 PM

I love how Gluck takes all the flack that Cory used to get now.