Album Review – A Wake In Providence – Eternity


Deathcore has undergone one of the most unlikely renaissances in recent memory. Look, there are going to be purists, basement dwellers, and people afraid of “screamy vocals” who will never understand the appeal, but even as a fan of the style, deathcore seemed ready to be buried six feet underground just a couple years ago. Leading the uptick in quality has been an emphasis on black metal influences, which crept up a decade ago with bands like Make Them Suffer, Abigail Williams, and Carnifex (the latter being the only one who still play the style, though they sound better than ever now).

That history lesson is beside the point, but the past is always going to be mentioned with A Wake In Providence, who can count among their previous members the hottest vocalist in metal, Will Ramos of Lorna Shore fame. The fact that both bands will be compared until the skinny jean-wearing cows come home is impossible to argue, but I’m most intrigued by the sonic choices each band have taken, despite theoretically having the same tech-ish blackened symphonic deathcore tag (speaking of relics).

Whereas Lorna Shore’s album that dropped last week leaned strongly on maximalism in every conceivable manner and trying to rewrite the deathcore playbook along the way (it had more flash than a certain Mr. Gordon), A Wake In Providence took their sound in a totally different direction. Thankfully for those wanting more quality, Eternity may go down as a deathcore classic, and it (along with Pain Remains) will go down as benchmarks for the style’s future.

I am on record as a proponent of many Unique Leader artists, but their house production style is typically not kind to my ears. I say that caveat because Eternity sounds downright majestic, befitting an album with a stunning Renaissance-style cover. The symphonic element feels complementary here and rarely takes over things, allowing the rest of the impressive musicians to showcase what they can offer. Vocally, Adam Mercer has a fantastic range and utilizes it in a more subdued manner at times. The inclusion of Gothic clean hooks is a wise choice, and it matches the progressive songwriting in tenor and tone. The drumming is punchy and emphasizes the sonic violence and left turns A Wake In Providence does so well.

No matter how much you love or hate breakdowns, you come to a deathcore album for guitarwork, and thankfully that’s on point throughout. Polish death metal influences are obvious, as is Septicflesh, though A Wake In Providence value melody more than their European counterparts. Standout track “The Court ov the Trinity” is the most evident example of the band’s potential peaking, and it’s important to note it’s also the longest song. You don’t expect seven minutes of deathcore to pay off in anything other than a series of de-escalating breakdowns, but instead of the band writing breakdowns like DJ Khaled counts (“Another one!”), we have two guitar solos instead of breakdowns, until it briefly comes at the end (rimshot). Groove-based riffs abound, and there really isn’t a lowlight in the tracklist.

Ultimately, A Wake In Providence have offered up the biggest surprise of 2022. Eternity is both a clear step up for the band and a realization of their potential. I won’t pit the band and Lorna Shore against each other for superiority, but if they are the future of deathcore, the scene’s in good hands. What a magnificent record.

Order the album at this location.

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