Artist: A Wake in Providence
Album: The Blvck Sun || The Blood Moon
When last we left A Wake in Providence, they were a rising star in the East Coast’s bustling heavy music scene. Their breakout release saw them earning the ears and attention of heavy music enthusiasts world-wide, defined by a careful blend of traditional deathcore and splashes of contemporary downtempo. Now, nearly a half-decade from the initial release of their previous record, the band re-emerge from the chasm, spending a couple years silent only to erupt with what feels like a millennia’s worth of maturation on their debut full-length effort, The Blvck Sun || The Blood Moon. Atmospheric while remaining ultra-aggressive, A Wake in Providence combine symphonic and blackened metallic influences alike into their 2019 tour-de-fury that spans nearly an entire hour. Using everything from skin-splitting riffs, ethereal moments of goosebump-including atmosphere, anthemic choruses and spine-shrinking slams, The Blvck Sun || The Blood Moon is one of—if not THE—first deathcore release this year to truly earn a reputation as “epic.”
The Blvck Sun || The Blood Moon is an instrumental reckoning, combining elements of black metal and symphonic death metal into a bold, robust deathcore backbone. From “I, Adversary” through the final seconds of the closing cut, “Behold, Thy King,” A Wake in Providence capture vibes akin to Lorna Shore’s Maleficence and give it a more metallic and eerie hue, adding a distinct and unique sound and feel to the entire experience. With percussion that runs the gamut between blistering and sludgy, songs like the anthemic “Oblivion” and “A Cataclysmic Eternal” are immense in their metallic influence, whereas crunchier, more breakdown-and-brutality driven cuts (“A Laube de L’enfer” and “The Blvck Sun”) see the percussion in a more simple—but brutally effective—light. Other songs, like “Sworn Adherent” and “Discipuli Autem Tenebris” are more balanced, with guitarists Jordan Felion and D’andre Tyre letting loose riff after riff while still letting the percussion breathe and bolster the tracks with a strong, solid backbone. In this way, A Wake in Providence manage to capture moments of ethereal near-tranquility (“The Finite Infinite”) and moments of unimaginable brutality (the rest of the record) and everything in between, seamlessly without feeling forced or overwhelming. Given its impressive run-time, The Blvck Sun || The Blood Moon has plenty of opportunities to give the listener a variety of styles, and A Wake in Providence manage them all masterfully, definitely appealing to fans of Lorna Shore’s more recent works without feeling too close or “samey,” instead having a very authentic approach to awe-inspiringly aggressive deathcore.
At this point, you have very likely picked up on the fact that A Wake in Providence’s latest record does follow in some similar footprints that were once laid by Lorna Shore and their contemporaries. This comparison isn’t meant as flattery, nor is it meant to impugn A Wake in Providence’s talents; and, furthermore, it holds up pretty damn well, especially where both acts’ incredible frontmen are concerned. A Wake in Providence’s Adam Mercer is a beast—a veritable tank behind the microphone—and he gives every song energy, power and intensity that demand respect and admiration. From the first syllables of “I, Adversary,” Mercer’s talent is evident, and it continues to be so well into “Blvck Sun |” and beyond. The Blvck Sun || The Blood Moon sees Mercer’s range dominating those of his peers, asserting himself as one of deathcore’s greats prodigally. Meanwhile, his lyricism is second-to-none, far from cliché, and refusing to satisfy the otherwise low threshold of tolerability set forth by other deathcore acts. Even the band’s cleanly sung sections (courtesy of Tyre) are anthemic and catchy, doing exactly what they need to do, exactly how they need to do it.
At first, the “diet Lorna Shore” commentary will be abundant when it comes to A Wake in Providence’s The Blvck Sun || The Blood Moon. However, that doesn’t do the band’s record justice, not even in the slightest. While there are similarities, without a doubt, there are differences as well, and A Wake in Providence emerge from what feels like eons of silence with one of 2019’s strongest full-lengths yet. Loosely conceptual and immersive as all Hell, with ambience, aggression and awe-inspiring brutality all in spades, The Blvck Sun || The Blood Moon is a masterpiece of modern deathcore that shines on its own merit alone.
For Fans Of: Lorna Shore, Signs of the Swarm, Nexilva, Make them Suffer
By: Connor Welsh