Album Review: Wake the Dead - Still Burning (2020)

Today, I'm introducing you to "Still Burning", the third longplayer by Marseille-based Modern Hardcore band Wake the Dead. This powerload was released on March 2, 2020 and contains twenty minutes of intense intense, brachial, melodic and emotional sounds. Besides streaming and the digital release "Still Burning" is available on CD and vinyl.

Photo Credit: Wake the Dead EPK

The French quintet begins their new album with the strong opener 'Giving up' and immediately makes clear what to expect on "Still Burning". Melodic Hardcore with emotional content, dark harmonics, brachial riffing and versatile rhythms create the soundscape of the eight tracks. The transition from Post Hardcore to Modern Hardcore is fluent on this one. The music Wake the Dead present on their newest release is a bit less halting and more straightforward than many Post Hardcore albums though.
The content presented in the lyrics is very relatable in contemporary society. As desolation, isolation or insecurity can lead either to depression ('Giving up') or blind rage 'An Eye for an Eye'), Wake the Dead begin to describe these feelings with their first tracks.
Going on, the band encourages people to gather their forces from within, so they can rise from the ashes like a phoenix ('All my Flames'). This re-invention of self often needs a clear cut which often has to be alone, and probably will mean breaking with old, toxic habits and peers ('Lone Wolf').

Once you're rebuilt and gained old strength again, you'll be 'Back for More'. Hand in hand with companions, full of hope and the power of a collective mind, you'll be ready to tear down the walls of oppression, injustice and segregation.
This is the part of the album where positivity starts to kick in. The powerful 'Interlude' is a call for action that we can make this world a better place where people can be free and live in peace. But first, we'll have to fight for this freedom. And damn, Wake the Dead, you convinced and encouraged me!
Post-Interlude, the call for action gets intensified. Talk less, act now is the message of the song 'Paradise'. Yes, we've all been kicked out of Eden, but is there any reason why we shouldn't make this godforsaken world a better place on our own?
And wat good is insincere individualism in a world we can only improve if we all stick together? The final song 'Own Identity' is dealing blows against plastic self-expression without any contribution to real improval. Damn right, rights and freedoms were fought for and we're better off than ever before, but are we finished, yet? We're still in this together and the struggle for a better future isn't over by a long stretch. We're "Still Burning" for more!

Photo Credit: Wake the Dead EPK

As much as music-wise "Still Burning" is clearly a Hardcore album, the contents are so Punk Rock.
Musical motifs partly remind me of bands such as Comeback Kid, boysetsfire or Strike Anywhere. From time to time, the Dark Hardcore of artists like Hang the Bastard shines through, too.
By any account this album is powerful output. Melodic, intelligent, intense and emotional. What a brutally beautiful call for action!



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