Continuing in the expansion of the sonic palate curated by avant-metal veterans Neurosis, bassist/vocalist Scott Kelly returns to the solo stage with a second album of sparse acoustic-based songs, released concurrently with the new solo outing by his bandmate, frontman Steve Von Till (A Grave Is a Grim Horse). The Wake, however, is a far darker affair: an achingly confessional collection of songs that come off like a Catholic Leonard Cohen produced by Justin K. Broadrick, loaded with brooding ballads sometimes draped in sonic experimentation, like the utilization of a distortion pedal on a steel guitar on “Saturn’s Eyes”. The Wake hardly yields the loudness of such Neurosis milestones as Pain of Mind and A Sun That Never Sets, but the roaring whisper of these impassioned compositions can easily be construed as some of the heaviest music Kelly has conspired in his twenty-plus years on the heavy metal circuit.
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