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Album Review

Wake – ‘Thought Form Descent’ [Album Review]

Read our (positive) thoughts on WAKE’s latest cinematic slab of gut-wrenching black metal/grindcore, ‘Thought Form Descent.’



I remember being turned on to Canadians Wake through their Devouring Ruin album. This stunning record was a ferocious piece of work inspired by personal trauma, explained guitarist Arjun when he spoke to V13 following the release of the record. Continuing their theme of releasing an album every two years, the Canadian band is back with the equally bleak Thought Form Descent, an offering which sees their sound follow a natural progression.

Fundamentally, at its black heart, Thought Form Descent is a relentless display of blackened death metal but spare it some time, and you’ll find an album with so much depth and beauty. Admittedly that depth and beauty is buried under a suffocatingly dark cloud but when it rears its head, be it through a little acoustic break or a progressive passage, it makes the whole listening experience all that more rewarding. Beautifully crafted, the likes of “Venerate (The Undoing of All)” might sound harrowing, but for those with an ear fine-tuned to this kind of thing, you will appreciate how there is so much more to Wake’s sound than one that just leaves feeling like your face has been sandblasted off.

Yes, vocalist Kyle Ball does have a voice that sounds like it has erupted from the depths of your worst nightmare, but you would nothing less from the man. Exploring outside the familiar boundaries of his personal issues, the vocalist has taken a different approach to his songwriting on Thought Form Descent, where he can be found incorporating those issues with a non-linear fiction story. Touching on themes such as near-death experiences and lucid dreaming, tracks like “Mourning Dirge (Repose of the Dead)” and opener “Infinite Inward” are crushingly violent in their delivery yet, at the same time, heartwrenching and emotional.

However, the Canadians really turn into an unstoppable force on the mournful “Bleeding Eyes of the Watcher,” where, for nearly nine minutes, the album takes the listener on an emotional rollercoaster of a journey. From slower, gentler passages to outright fury, topped off with Ball’s almost desperate vocals, Thought Form Descent peaks with a jaw-dropping display of gut-wrenching, post-black metal rage before “The Translation of Deaths” brings this incredible recording to a dramatic, haunting, almost cinematic conclusion.

Thought Form Descent Track Listing:

1. Infinite Inward
2. Swallow the Light
3. Mourning Dirge (Repose of the Dead)
4. Pareidolia
5. Venerate (The Undoing of All)
6. Observer to Master
7. Bleeding Eyes of the Watcher
8. The Translation of Deaths

Run Time: 46:42
Release Date: July 22, 2022
Record Label: Metal Blade Records

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.