The title of Calgary outfit Wake’s new record is bang on: Devouring Ruin is a massive leap forward in the band’s sonic approach, intensely visceral imagery and some surprises that will indeed “devour” your expectations.
Dynamics and pure ferocity are at the forefront of the production, allowing the refreshingly self-reflective vocals of Kyle Ball to mesh superbly. The swirling tones on “Mouth of Abolition” complement an apocalyptic and hard-hitting track, lyrically: “Sour winds of extinction, sweep through the mass of disgust.” A guest solo from Khemmis’s Ben Hutcherson doesn’t hurt either, y’know?
Some real chances are taken here, with some real subtlety placed between various interludes, which creates a very natural flow in weaving a unique blend of guttural growls, blasts, near-endless drum fills and riffs that plain crush. And about that ambient section in “This Abyssal Plain”? I… think I just entered a hate5six video for a second there.
Where Wake’s going, they don’t need comfort zones: the nods to classical music on “In the Lair of the Rat Kings”; every time the guitars groove on “Monuments to Impiety”; and need I say more about symphonic juggernaut extraordinaire “Torchbearer”? Every moment on here, you’re going to find a band that fires forward on all cylinders.
With Devouring Ruin, these guys are in another league. In a scene that is full of surprises, Wake have put out a fitting benchmark to start this new decade of heavy music. (Translation Loss)