A Wake in Providence – Eternity Review

A mere week after Lorna Shore release their first full-length featuring new vocalist and (Youtube) sensation Will Ramos, comes the latest offering from A Wake in Providence, which just so happens to be the band with whom Ramos made his debut. With Adam Mercer providing pipes since 2017, this band were a key player in the rising subgenre of symphonic deathcore. As they are proud to point out, they were part of the “OG” gang that got the style started. If you’re at all familiar with it, you know roughly what to expect. But when you can claim a share of the glory for starting a trend, you can’t very fairly be criticized for following it. Moreover, there are pleasing idiosyncrasies to A Wake in Providence, and Eternity in particular. And these do more than just prevent them from sounding like a carbon copy. They elevate their music above the grey, infinite mosh pit of modern deathcore.

Eternity is indeed quite reminiscent of the newest strain of Lorna Shore in its epic-sounding, orchestrated1 brutality. Or rather, given who was first, it’s more accurate to say that the new Lorna Shore sounds like this. Mercer’s range isn’t quite on Ramos’ level, but he nonetheless displays an impressive vocal variety, switching from gut-wrenching gutturals, to piercing shrieks, squeals, and throaty growls. What’s also a pleasant surprise, in the vocal department, are D’Andre Tyre’s warm, passionate cleans. They feel like a much better realized version of what it seems Enterprise Earth were aiming for with their earlier 2022 release. Very much second fiddle to the dominant harsh vocals, they manage to provide the perfect amount of emotional depth without giving over half the song to a saccharine bleating. AWiP also stay on the good side of melodrama, using strings and choirs to create powerful backdrops and occasional mournful introspection, without crossing over into ‘overwrought’ territory. And the whole thing just sounds pretty awesome.

All elements are executed deftly, but it’s the balance in their blending that really grounds Eternity’s success. AWiP are a deathcore band, and there are breakdowns and blastbeats aplenty. But the group avoid formula, playing around with tempos and rhythms (“Vicious Attenuation,” “The Court ov the Trinity (Final Movement)”). They also know when to employ delicacy through gentle cleans (“An Odyssey Through the River (Overture)”) and piano (“Weep into the Abyss, for it Hears you Not.”) These parts are quite hauntingly beautiful and stay that way through their fleeting presence that gives way to their direct opposite of crushing brutality. In similar fashion, the singing that rises from mournful to triumphant (“We are Eternity,” Siamo Legati dal Terrore,” “The Book ov the Eldritch (Second Movement)”) cuts a stirring contrast to the harsh vocal extremity it juxtaposes, or sometimes practically duets with (“The Court ov the Trinity”). Guitar solos—also sparing—tread the line between gnarly and beautiful with twisting, fluid trajectories (“The Hunt ov the Wraith (First Movement),” “The Court ov the Trinity”). All through this, subtle urgent melodies ebb and flow, opening out to moments of quiet drama or portentous tension.

AWiP are adept at weaving layers into music that is superficially, at times, simply very heavy. “Siamo Legati dal Terrore” and “The Book ov the Eldritch” are key examples of complexity that manifests as powerful, and memorable. Strange, ‘backwards’-sounding instrumental and choral slides provide eerie transitions, and fluidly switching tempos and vocal styles stave off the whiffs of staleness that threaten all chug-filled, breakdown-defined deathcore. And even at the album’s most dramatic—the chorals in “The Horror ov the Old Gods” and “The Book ov the Eldritch,” for instance— things never feel overbearing. For the band demonstrate a restraint that keeps the sweetness sweet and the bile just as deadly. Eternity does not overwhelm when it comes to length either, clocking in a little over the forty-minute mark. While your spirit may not be crushed, however, the sound sort of is—compressed, I mean. It’s a shame because with a (slightly) more spacious production, some of those strings and backing guitar melodies would bring a new level of impact through an increased presence. AWiP manage to get away with it though.

Eternity is not only a solid, chunky slab of heavy music, but a darkly melodic, thoughtfully crafted example of symphonic deathcore done well. If the newest Lorna Shore has left you drained or nonplussed, A Wake in Providence has you covered.

Rating: Very Good
DR: 4 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Unique Leader Records
Website: en-gb.facebook.com/awipnyc
Releases Worldwide: October 21st, 2022

Show 1 footnote

  1. pun intended
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