Released: 2007, Relapse Records
Rwake, pronounced “wake,” I believe, are an American stoner-sludge band akin to YOB, Crowbar, Neurosis, Eyehategod, or Mastodon. If those bands interest you…you’ll probably blow a load all over VOICES OF OMENS. I, personally, throw Rwake into the “I don’t give a rat’s dick …why the fuck are you dopey fucks obsessing so much over this interminable meandering shit” pile along with Mastodon, Into Eternity, Hypocrisy, and High on Fire.
In all seriousness though, Rwake doesn’t completely suck. They’re a perfectly respectable band. I just don’t buy the hype. What I’m supposed to find brilliant from Rwake– I often find tedious or bland – but still well executed. Kind of a paradox. They’re good…but they aren’t groundbreaking…or anything extraordinary. Sonically, we have nine majestic/thunderous doom epics laced with pcp and Southern-funeral doom. Guitar tone is a warm fuzz-distortion drone, yet the licks are still disturbing enough that the “nice” relapse production doesn’t damage the riffing. Vocals are harsh (think Mastodon) and probably narcotic induced…so there’s a lot of good coming out here. Overall, think a poor man’s Neurosis.
Now the bad…which can be summed up very simply. Rwake at times suffers from trying to get too much out of a single riff. VOICES OF OMENS is not a drone album…though at times it feels like it wants to be. It is for this reason that the album limps along when it should have soared. Plus, nothing new is happening here – It just has a better execution than most.
Rwake has a feverish, dedicated, friendly, and for all those reasons, border-line obnoxious fan following. Now, for those of you who aren’t up Rwake’s asshole…VOICES OF OMENS really isn’t all that bad…but you aren’t going to get a shitload of spins out of it. For Rwake, you’re better off with the less crisp IF YOU WALK BEFORE YOU CRAWL, YOU CRAWL BEFORE YOU DIE or HELL IS A DOOR TO THE SUN. If you thought both of those were meandering and obtuse – Go get SOULS AT ZERO (Neurosis) instead you finicky bastard…