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My Silent Wake – Lost in Memories, Lost in Sorrow

England’s long-standing catastrophic act My silent alarm clock started releasing old-school doom tunes since its inception in 2005. My silent alarm clock has an impressive track record, culminating with his twelfth sadboi gloom opus, Lost in memories, lost in sorrow, with a side of death and gothic romance. I discovered the band on their solid tenth album There was death in 2018, blindly diving into the promotional cesspool and initially thinking I had stumbled upon a newer, untapped gem for spreading the Gospel. Some research uncovered their rich recording history. There was death didn’t inspire enough interest to do a deep dive, however, it left me satisfied with the richness and cursed goodness, bringing modern flavors and character to Peaceville. Three influences, mainly My dying wife And lost paradise. I missed the rest of 2020, Damnum per Saeculorum (an ambient and experimental excursion)NOW reconnecting and crossing my fingers that a doom album reaches my soul and brings the feels.

A key criticism of There was death related to the significant bloat present, detracting from the more solidly written and compelling material. The band continues to launch into longer tracks, pushing more than six minutes on half of the eight songs present, but the whole thing comes together more concisely at a manageable 43 minutes. Immediately, the band’s experience and confident mastery of their well-known formula is evident on opener “The Liar and the Fool.” The understated, almost spoken-word opening unfolds the gothic drama, before launching into a heavy mid-paced groove adorned with groovy riffs, prominent organ and dueling vocals. Lead growler Ian Arkley (also on guitars) has a suitably thick and hearty death growl, perfectly suited to the old-school death-doom style. Meanwhile, organ-wielding Simon Bibby’s majestic and dramatic cleans provide an epic, harmonizing melodic counterpoint, forming a powerful combo.

My silent alarm clock‘s rich, driving sound flourishes in dark atmospheres and purple-tinged gothic melancholy, without falling into overly dark and depressing realms. Well-executed vocal tag teaming, a rich blend of thick, organ-drenched death grooves and dreary doom dynamics give the album an energetic, gripping dynamic, supported by engaging guitar work, mournful melodies and earworm hooks. Bibby’s increased role on dual lead vocals is a significant change, with her dramatic and powerful cleans responsible for many catchy moments throughout the album, even if they sometimes slightly detract from the meaty old-school growls of Arkley. Listeners who are unhappy with Bibby’s style might find her increased involvement to be a potential sticking point. However, it’s hard to argue with some of the surprisingly infectious vocal melodies and beauty-versus-beast harmonies scattered amidst the gloom and doom.

“Lavender Garden” delivers heroic vocal hooks and emotional weight in spades. Its robust grooves and lively rhythm serve up a well-constructed song that lodges in the brain. “When You Look Back” will please death purists. Despite the clean vocals, the song leans heavily on Arkley’s impassioned death vox, settling into a sad and somber cadence, with strong results. Elsewhere, “Another Light” picks up the pace and the jam packs plenty of energy, deadly crunch and some bright, organ-smeared grooves into the mix. There’s no real clicking to speak of, although the album’s pacing is a little off at times and some bloat appears on a few longer album tracks later (“The Last Lullaby” and “No Time”). I could also do without occasional moments of spoken word. Fortunately, closer “The Judges” concludes the album in a compact and satisfying manner, combining moody atmosphere with excellent dual vocal harmonies and beautifully soulful guitar work.

Surrounded by his accomplished comrades, Arkley remains the key figure at the helm of the doomed ship. Its formidable growls anchor the band in deadlier territory and ensure the heightened melodic tendencies don’t overshadow My silent alarm clockIt is darker and heavier pangs. Arkley’s guitar work is also top-notch, straddling death-doom lines and integrating thick, punchier riffs amid deft melodic touches. My silent alarm clock is perhaps not positioned at the forefront of the modern doom scene. However, from my limited exposure to their extensive catalog, they are a spirited and gifted group. Proudly wearing their influences on their sleeves, My silent alarm clock having enough character and songwriting smarts to carve out their own space in the retro-minded, Goth-tinged doom space. Lost in memories, lost in sorrow is a warm, inviting and endearing slab of catchy death-doom, well worth a listen.




Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 9 | Revised format: 320 kbit/s mp3
Label: Ardua Music
Websites: monsilentwake2.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/mysilentwake
Releases around the world: May 3, 2024