Music Reviews


Hell is a Door to the Sun


This release by Rwake is less a compact disc and more a torture instrument. From the opening track all the way through, Rwake creates some of the most overwhelming malevolent and crushing rock to blast through your speakers. Imagine Eyehategod in a particularly nasty mood and you are starting to approach the extremes that Rwake reaches. Although the production is a bit spotty at times, one suspects this contributes to the overall sludge sound. Yet, they offset this with their precision and skill as well as a handful of interesting samples that they weave throughout the tracks.

Stylistically, the band is all over the map. At one point they sound like they’re rehashing some fairly standard Black Sabbath-inspired riffs, and then they’ll quickly change directions, heading off into unknown territory. For example, check out the opening riffs on “Smog Monster,” those are inhuman. It reminds me of some fifties horror movies where the UFOs appear, spewing death rays and turning people into cinders. Rwake is the UFO. They start off in sludge rock fashion, stoner lyrics shouted at the top of their lungs about what, god only knows. Then the band stops on a dime and heads off into a bit of thrashing virtuosity before downshifting this careening screaming behemoth. You can see the ship shudder and quake under the stress; smoke pours out of the vents and the control panel screams. The boys in Rwake aren’t finished yet. They circle the field a few more times, shifting into hyper speed before downshifting again. But wait, just when you think it can’t last, that this ship has to explode under the stress, they gracefully set it down. The last minute and a half of the song, no feedback, you can hear the singer actually SING! What the hell? It is as if the ship has landed, the bay doors open. The crew, they’ve come in peace. Alas, you’ve lowered your guard and Rwake come in for the final kill. One more flourish of stoner-inspired, doom rock death ray kills the only survivors.

Alternating groans, stoner shouts and your typical death metal screaming Rwake have touched down, torching everything they find. These guys kick up a mountain sized shit storm, a whirlwind of sludgy metal that if doesn’t kill you will simply bury you. Don’t believe me. Listen to “The Stoner Tree”: “I don’t give a shit about Jesus Christ, I just want to get high.” Enough said.

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