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A Review of the Good Debut Album Ode to My Misery by Finnish Melodic Death Metal Band the Wake

Updated on March 7, 2023
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

The cover has three crows on it as they flying in the air. Sometimes birds can represent ominous things.
The cover has three crows on it as they flying in the air. Sometimes birds can represent ominous things. | Source

The Musical Style of The Wake and the Band Members

The Wake were a melodic death metal from Karjaa, Finland who were active between 1998 and 2008. Their debut album Ode to My Misery released in 2003 is a good mix of what can be classified as melodeath music. Melodeath is short for melodic death metal but for those that are not used to such shortened titles, let’s just say that The Wake were a group of five men whose goal was to play melodic death metal. The Wake were:

  • Kaj Michelsson: bass guitars, all vocals, and lyrics
  • Juho Manninen: bass guitar
  • Wellu Helenius: drums
  • Sakari Lempinen: guitars
  • Jani Luttinen: guitars

The song called "Souls Encounter"

"Whenever I Suffer" May Be the Best Song In This Album

The first song I ever heard from these guys is the one called “Whenever I Suffer.” The song has the pounding drums plus a very memorable melodic interlude style guitar part which is terrific! The song is about someone that questions his entire existence. He makes a living out of making sure that others suffer at his expense.

"Whenever I Suffer"

A Brief Album Review and the Band's Influences

The opening song called Murder One has fast drums and LOTS of melody in it which shows that these guys were very skilled! The song is about someone that kills others for a living, sort of like an assassin. Kaj Michelsson changes between rough, guttural style vocals and snake like screams. It is extremely difficult to understand his vocals and for this, the album rating will be lowered at least 10-15%. Darkness of Mine is about someone that is stuck in a world of delusions and there is no one to help him get out of his misery. The song has a fast part that shows some Stratovarius influenced guitar work and then there is a section that I hear and think of The Gallery era Dark Tranquillity. The next song Souls Encounter is about someone that is in a world where he allows the foolish people guide him because he lacks the mental toughness to make choices for himself. The melody is clearly present in the music of The Wake but the good thing about it is that these guys keep it simple yet melodic and enjoyable at the same time. They don’t ever to try to put in so many instruments into the songs so that the songs get cluttered. Also, The Wake do not use any keyboards like Norther did. And still, Michelsson’s vocals are not as bad as that of Antti Haapanen (Noumena). We have the extremely catchy and melodic Befouled Galaxy. This song is about a person that is wounded and he thinks that he is just another lost soul in a world of other lost souls. Failed Generation reminds me a little bit of Throne of Chaos (TOC) in the guitar work. I wonder though why it is that so many Finnish bands have lyrical themes in their songs about life, loss, melancholy, and death. It could be due to their long, cold, winters which see very little sunlight that could be a factor. But whatever the reasons for these lyrical themes, Finland is a hotbed for wonderful melodic death metal bands. That stated, The Wake provide us with a simple and enjoyable album in Ode to My Misery for the most part. Like a Fallen Angel is a very fast death metal song with power metal influences and it once again switches back and forth between death metal growls and raspier vocal sounds as well. Ode to My Misery gets an 80 out of 100 points. It is a good album but there are better melodic death metal albums in the genre.

The Song Called "Like a Fallen Angel"

© 2016 Ara Vahanian


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