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My Silent Wake - There Was Death album review

Prolific British doom-death crew find themselves on the up

Cover art for My Silent Wake - There Was Death album

Astonishingly, this is the Westonsuper-Mare-based gothic doomdeath ensemble’s 10th album since 2006, and they’ve many more EPs, singles, compilations and splits besides. Inevitably, results of this creative incontinence have been uneven; at times it’s devastating, elsewhere the ‘Poundland My Dying Bride’ tag has seemed valid. But singer/guitarist Ian Arkley has maintained a committed presence in the metal underground for 30 years, so respect is due for continuing to mastermind albums as solid as this. 2016’s Invitation To Imperfection was an ear-opening soundscape of supernatural dark ambience, and this metallic homecoming extends MSW’s purple patch, running the metal gamut from squealing-lead headbangers like Killing Flaw to droning miasmas of twin-harmony dejection like Ghosts Of Parlous Lives. An effective, earthy companion piece to their last, more experimental offering, but perhaps the optimum MSW LP will be the one that tastefully melds these approaches.

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.