Artist: A Wake in Providence
Album: Insidious – EP
It is infectious and lethal, effortlessly sliding through your ears and into your brain as if your skull didn’t even exist—and after it’s done with you, it probably won’t. It knows nothing of conventional boundaries—it is simply a contagion, hopping from host to host like a deadly game of hopscotch. It is more complex than just a virus, and more immense than an idea: it is the aptly named EP by New York heavy hitters, A Wake in Providence. Harbingers of hellish heaviness and procreators of punishing, overwhelming instrumentation, A Wake in Providence are masters of aggression and intensity. This crushing quintet blend technicality, groove, brutality and eerie, brooding atmosphere to create Insidious, a dismally dark album that reeks of death and despair.
From the cataclysmic atmosphere in “Doom” to the eerie conclusion to “Bane,” A Wake in Providence immediately strike the listener as a unique band amid a sea of sound-the-same deathcore acts. Insidious is an excellent example of a creative combination of ethereality and energy. Percussionist Brandon Ricardo is proficient in every technique and style from raunchy, rhythmic kick patterns to skin-peeling, super-speedy blast beats. Each track is plenty long enough for Ricardo to rampage across, highlighting a variety of vicious skills to keep Insidious’ percussive backbone varied and engaging. “Black Mass” is a particularly epic adventure that sees Ricardo dictating the flow and feel of the entire track, while shorter, more syncopated moments during “Seeker” or “Euthanasia” see him working side-by-side with bassist Owen Hayes to deliver an organ-melting low end that will send listener’s brains dripping out of every orifice their freshly-pulverized head has to offer. Hayes’s hellacious, grimy bass tone adds depth and an arid feeling of doom to every aspect of A Wake in Providence’s instrumental accompaniment, but does its best work in tying Ricardo’s raunchy drumming to the impressive fretwork of guitarists D’Andre Tyre and Josh Freeman. Tyre and Freeman are an incredibly capable, ruthlessly crushing force to be feared, letting loose with riffs that cut through the listener’s flesh like a knife through hot butter, alongside chugs and grooves that pummel the listener’s spine like a jackhammer. “Insidious” is an exceptional example, with driving riffs that decay into brutalizing breakdowns with carefully constructed transitions that keep the song’s claws hooked firmly in the listener’s ears.
The simultaneously most magnificent and malicious aspect of A Wake in Providence doesn’t come from an instrument—it can’t be riffed, grooved or blast-beat into the listener’s head. It comes from the throat of frontman Chris Gonzalez, who may as well be Hell incarnate. Gonzalez provides a gory, grotesque vocal component to Insidious that further bolsters its unique and standalone nature. “Seeker” showcases just how dynamic Gonzalez can be on his own, tricking the listener several times into thinking he’s sharing the mic with more than one guest. However, the greatest testament to Gonzalez’s skill comes near the end of “Black Mass,” where his transition into and out of Dickie Allen’s (who needs no formal introduction) guest spot displays that he can go toe-to-toe with some of the genre’s greatest vocalists without sounding lack-luster or weak. Gonzalez is a monster, shredding the listener’s head with an incessant flood of vocal filth that serves as the ideal companion for Insidious’ intense, visceral and maniacal music.
A Wake in Providence manage to be both catchy and crushing, while including technicality and tremendous song structure to give the listener a different kind of deathcore than that which is overwhelming the mainstream. “Bane” and “Doom” both include atmosphere and eeriness that gives the listener’s ears a break while keeping their mind on its tippy-toes. Meanwhile, there is simply no stopping the slam-tinted insanity found within “Black Mass,” nor can the riffy, ruthless straightforward nature of “Seeker” be slowed to halt. Insidious is the best of both worlds—a maelstrom that stops and takes the time to adhere to an intelligent, immersive structure and dynamic to give the listener a truly unique heavy-music experience.
Once it finds its way inside your head, there’s no saving you. Your brain melts, the differentiation between gyri and sulci becomes nonexistent. Insidious is an unstoppable display of deathcore prowess that will have fans of heavy music singing A Wake in Providence’s praises until their dying day.
For Fans Of: Towers, Existence Has Failed, Signal the Firing Squad, Oceano
By: Connor Welsh