WAIT – The End of Noise
Having gotten very familiar with The Artisan Era’s roster and the kind of music they generally put out, I would say that WAIT is probably the most atypical band they ever signed compared to the artists they usually go for. Compared to the myriad of prog tech-death acts that usually churn out their releases through this label, WAIT would probably rather fall into the typical modern prog metal and djent scene. Not only do they refuse to spew 300 notes a second, they actually use clean vocals to the same extent as screams, and that makes them a surprising yet very welcome change from my extreme metal listening spree. With only a 3-song EP released prior to the debut, this is a new name in the scene, but given the presence of Max Phelps and Andrew Weber of Exist in the line-up, it’s no surprise that it sounds very professional and mature.
“The End of Noise” clocks in at 50 minutes with only 7 songs, which shows an affinity for long songs, which as a prog nerd, I obviously love. And it was a surprising idea to actually release as a first single, the longest track on the record ‘Lone Presence Supreme’, but I would say it was actually justified given that it is probably the most groovy and catchy song on the record. So you can probably tell by now that they do have their fair share of complexity going on. Having mentioned the term “djent”, I want to make it absolutely clear that this is not a typical djent band by any means, while they do have a slight electronic touch on the guitar sound and some of the riffs are typical 01’s, there’s an organic touch as well and not as much sound slicing as you hear in regular djent.
WAIT – Lone Presence Supreme ( Click here if the video does not play )
As the key elements that make this album worthwhile, I would spotlight groove and atmosphere. Taking a deeper dive into the former, we see superb patterns on the drums, with mathy complex kick patterns balanced out by clearly paced headbangable snare and cymbal rhythms. The guitar riffs and bass parts often follow along with the kick patterns giving a thick heavy sound and also adding some clever, evolutionary melodic ideas on top of that groove. As a result, you have a hooky component (the rhythm itself) going alongside a more intricate and creative side that you can take your time to unpack (the melodic composition on top). And of course, there are some very satisfying spurts of technicality slicing through the paced nature of the songs, just enough to drop a little show-offy dynamic and impress the listener a bit, but never taking front seat.
WAIT – I Climb Downhill ( Click here if the video does not play )
On the atmospheric side, I would say what brings most value is the use of samples and the clean vocals. As can be seen in the break half way through ‘Lone Presence Supreme’, they know how to use unique sound effects and delay to build a creepy but not exactly pressing or aggressive mood, rather one that’s strange and surreal, sometimes peaceful and sometimes slightly demented. The clean vocals also bring a lot of emotion. Max Phelps has a weird, slightly nasal tone and can use his voice to create a weird emotion, playing a role that often feels sad, lonely or frustrated, and then the screams contrast that very well by letting out the anger. Oddly enough though, it doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of power in the screams. He has a high-pitched tone with hardly any depth that instead favours a corrosive texture. As a result, the heaviness still comes from the instrumental background and his part is used fully to deliver the emotional package.
WAIT – The End of Noise ( Click here if the video does not play )
Some special bass attention is also needed, as there are plenty of moments, particularly on the last 2 tracks, ‘The End of Noise’ and ‘Until the Road is Closed’ where it adds so much character to the music. It’s a great example of playing with attitude and that effect is then even more accentuated when the guitar solo comes on top of that vibe (last song), since the guitar solos are also very vibrant and full of character, only using shredding sporadically for effect. Other highlight moments include the faster paced, properly djenty intro riff to ‘I Climb Downhill’ and the odd unidentifiable instrument used in the intro and outro to ‘Reverie’.
When putting it all together, this is clearly a strong progressive metal release with both emotional and creative value. I would say its strongest point is originality, enjoyability also stands quite strongly but it loses a few points on diversity, as it tends to keep the same tone and vibe all the way through.
- Half Funeral (05:37)
- Earth’s Last Orbit (07:43)
- Lone Presence Supreme (09:23)
- Reverie (06:06)
- I Climb Downhill (05:03)
- The End of Noise (07:43)
- Until the Road is Closed (08:46)