Rwake ‘If You Walk Before You Crawl, You Crawl Before You Die’ CD 2004

Rwake 'If You Walk Before You Crawl, You Crawl Before You Die' CD 2004It seems that Rwake is only getting better with time. This is their third full-length LP, and what an experience it is! Pure chaotic, harsh vocals that, at times, sound more akin to a black metal band than they do a sludge/doom band. But they’re perfectly offset by the clearer, more growl-like shouting in the midst of the chaos; it works well. This band takes a more unconventional route to their music. It doesn’t conform to any other band I’ve heard in the genre. Relaxing acoustic sections, quick time signatures, and some of the weirdest lyrics I’ve heard from a doom band.

I do feel that the film quote samples, used to break up the songs, are used too much. It would’ve been better to space them out more to increase their impact (not that they’re very involving… but they are very quotable). There’s some fucking amazing production value to this album, however. The keen listener will pick out the many subtle atmospheric parts throughout the LP. And if the only thing ‘If You Walk Before You Crawl…’ does for you, it’ll be keeping you on your toes. The transition between the acoustic/relaxing ‘calm before the storm’ sections, and the utter viciousness of the heavier parts is quick and brutal.

All-in-all, Rwake have a unique style that incorporates many aspects. All the way down to the blistering guitar solos, differing levels of “agony” (for lack of a better word) in the lead singer’s vocals, and an arrangement of music that is truly original. If Rwake’s earlier albums didn’t already, then this release definitely sets them away from the flock. Generic is not in their vocabulary, and I have a feeling that any self-respecting doom metal fan will love this.

Label: At A Loss Recordings

Scribed by: Lewis Hunter