Arkansas. Other than Bill Clinton, USA President, I don't know much about this state. When I read that Rwake was a metal band hailing from Arkansas, I was leery and dubious. Backwoods banjo music came to mind. I was gobsmackingly blown away within the first two minutes! Basically that's a minute and a half of the first track and 30 seconds of track two. Rest is sheer genius. It's taken four years for this band to put out a new album and it was worth the wait.
It's hard to put this album into one genre of music. It's orchestral. It's atmospheric. It's creepy. No, really. There are passages that make my arm hair stand on end. It's a soundtrack to a horror movie and a tragic opera all in one. Some of the music is progressive metal while some is sludgy doom metal; and this is all in one song! changes in mode and key keep the songs intriguing and the listener engaged.
Souls of the Sky opens the disk and sets the mood. Souls is an 87 second track that is acoustic in nature with a lovingly haunting flute throughout and some eerie chanting. I don't know what language it's in, but it's beautiful. Souls segues into It Was Beautiful But Now it's Sour. The song evokes Slayer-esque riffs and Testament-like composition. The time changes smack you in the face. Clocking in at over eleven minutes, it's not even the longest track on the album. An Invisible Thread is a sick guitar laden track that has brutal vocals. C.T. gives his all and holds nothing back. The song is meant for giant circle pits and will inspire some serious moshing!
At sixteen minutes The Culling is the most expansive track on Rest. The song reaches inside of you and pulls out your soul. It's beautifully haunting. The Culling is rich with texture and interweaving melodies. It's rythmically complex. Kiffin and Gravy's guitar work is unbelievable. The vocals kick in at the six minute mark to punctuate the enveloping wall of sound. There is a small breathing space with Ti Progetto which is only 57 seconds. But it's a creepy track. Was Only a Dream is the epic finale of an amazing disk. It's the best of doom, sludge, black, progressive metal all rolled into one. Again, Kiffin and Gravy make their guitars weep and scream.
Rest is emotionally jarring, in a good way. After 52 minutes 47 seconds you want to take this trip again. Jeff, C.T., Kiffin, Gravy, and B. are virtuosos. They've created an intense album that will suck you in. Pick up this disk and be prepared to be gobsmacked.