Wake The Dead are a melodic hardcore band from France who we featured as Band of the Day last year, and – after a three year wait – they’re about to release their latest album. Under The Mask has been delayed partly due to the introduction of two new members and the desire to have them fully part of the creative process. I can tell you that Cesar as new singer and Hugh as new drummer have earned their spots within this outfit on the strength of Under The Mask.
First and foremost, this is an angry album which suits the musical style. Cesar punishes the vocals, screaming them out and getting every ounce of fury they deserve into them – even in the more melodic moments! Musically, it’s not all hammering and audio blasts. As the genre dictates there are slower, more gentle moment such as a lot of the track “Monumental Anger”, funnily enough. With a title like that you’d expect one of the more abrasive songs on the album, but on the whole it’s more maudlin and atmospheric with a killer chorus.
“Song of Storm” is the first of the best songs on the album. Opening like a classic metal track, it’s got a brilliant choral bridge and a whirlwind chorus that should have any audience going mental. It’s enjoyable to see a different approach being taken to each song, especially in a genre which can often being accused of being a bit flat or “samey”. Under the Mask is definitely an album that can’t be accused of lacking ideas.
There are songs which just hit you like a train, non-stop from beginning to end (“Cold Thing”), others which go for the slower and heavier approach (“Black Cat”), and others which come across more as a if they written purely for the live shows with those great “join in” vocal shouts (“Learn From The Best”).
While I’m not sure if Under The Mask would convert those not already into hardcore (melodic or otherwise), for fans of the modern hardcore movement this is an album that’s definitely worth checking out.
Under The Mask is out on April 27th, 2016