Mixing together the heart of doom with the pulse post-metal, Wake is a collection of tracks that have a deep melodic core and depth of feeling to them. In fact, powered by negative emotion, this is an album filled to the brim with feelings of loss, woe, despair, and plaintive nostalgia. It’s never maudlin though, and frequently beautiful.
The songs, (and the album as a whole), have a distinctive sound. Wake is undeniably heavy in a sonic sense, but the true heaviness of these tracks comes from their emotive appeal. Leonov seem to write music that focuses on how affecting it can be, rather than how crushing it can be. Of course, by concentrating on the former it frequently also achieves the latter.
The post-metal build/release mechanic is used well, but is frequently suborned by doom elements to go down darker paths. It all leads to atmosphere and mood, but not always by the same route.
Synths enhance and add extra layers of feeling, as well as a certain funereal aspect to the music. They’re relatively subtle in some ways, but they’re noticeable by their absence when they’re gone.
The vocals are hauntingly effective and performed with skill and passion. The singer of Leonov has a voice that’s seductive and rich. Her voice sits atop the music like a soft layered presence that crowns the songs with emotive force.
Wake is a highly enjoyable album that manages to mix ethereal beauty with the practicality of the gallows.
Very highly recommended.