Song Review: Athenas Wake – ‘Witches’

Song Review: Athenas Wake – ‘Witches’

Band: Athenas Wake
Song: Witches
Location: Geelong, VIC
Release Date: September 10, 2015
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Reviewer: Muir
For Fans Of: Opeth, Job for a Cowboy

Let me preface this review with the fact that I’m not the biggest death metal fan, and if you’re highly appreciative of the genre, then you will be immediately more inclined to enjoy this track. This does not mean that I cannot objectively review it, but I’m sure this will be brought into question by the kids – but I did enjoy some of the big names in melodic and progressive death metal when I was younger, and most definitely appreciate its profound influence on the brand of metalcore that I largely grew up listening to.

After the absolute raw sewerage soup which was the last track I reviewed, it would have been fun to have some similarly prime shock material as I feel that mercilessly ripping on things is the only means by which I can create anything myself – according to my therapist, anyway. I was hoping for another objectively terrible song, but the name of the band seemed familiar to me (and conjured no distinct association with distaste), and so, after a quick Google, it revealed that I had in fact heard them a number of years ago. Full disclosure, I didn’t mind them terribly, but I barely remember that track now. That’s kind of the problem though – twelve hours after last listen to ‘Witches’ and I can barely remember the song. It’s definitely not awful – in fact, it’s pretty good – but I find myself forgetting the riff that just finished as the next starts. I get the distinct impression these boys listened to a lot of Opeth – but there are also sections that remind me of the last decade’s deathcore. I’m not sure what I think of this mix of influences, and I feel similarly murky in regards to what I think of the song itself.

These are not bad musicians playing, not by any means, and not at a bad producer behind the desk – but at no point in the song did it particularly grab me – with one exception at 0:24 where a palm muted passage managed to etch itself into my memory. Praise where praise is due, I did enjoy that riff – I just didn’t find that the song was stuck in my head, even after listening again and again to review. I get that as a ‘death’ band they’re not aiming for pop structures or hookiness – but it was definitely the more riffy and melodic ends of similar acts that tend to come to mind first for me as good examples.

The production is completely professional and this, along with their inclusion on Confession’s final tour, would indicate to me that they’re neither new nor obscure – and the fact that I had heard their name years ago would indicate that they’re doing alright for a band their age and size. That being said, it’s not all my cup of tea. The synth strings are cheesy incongruously textured but otherwise very little gripes with the sound – simply was not hooked on the songwriting. Guitar tracks were well-recorded, if not bringing anything new to the table in content and bass was surprisingly apparent for a Death act. Drums were well-tracked and inoffensive if a little over-reliant on the double kick. Tight musically, but could go much further if they worked on their songwriting.

Vocals: 7/10
Lyrics: witches/10
Guitar: 6/10
Bass: 8/10
Percussion: 6/10
Songwriting: 2/10
Production: 9/10
Personal Enjoyment: 4/10
Overall IPHYB Rating: 6.5/10

Song Review: Athenas Wake – ‘Witches’
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  • steve

    not bad aye,i enjoyed it,thanks