The Wakedead Gathering has been alive since 2007 and pumping out Old School Death Metal since 2010. A solo act from Ohio, the mystery of the music is created by Andrew Lampe who has involved in other projects- more Black Metal tinged than Death Metal- such as Echushkya and Invultation. So far Wakedead seems to be his longest running project, and a bit different as it sheds pretty much any Black Metal and opts for a sound similar to a mix of older 90s groups like a more melodic version of Incantation or Immolation. The new album ‘Parallaxiom’ seems to fall in line with some of the sci fi themes seen before, touching on a bit of Pathology meets Archspire themes, but the sound is still consistent. Like a good Cannibal Corpse album, Lampe still keeps up with the rather fuzzy sound of the guitars and drums in a mix of thick, heavy, nearly sludgy riffs but plenty of fast thunderous moments too so the music doesn’t come off as a dragging Funeral Doom album. Tracks like ‘The High Court…’ have a good mix of fast and slow moments with the monstrous growls, but sometimes they are hard to hear because they sound pushed back in the mix while the guitars and drums are in the front.
Those looking for the more roller coaster style with a slow build up and then faster riffs will enjoy ‘Lab 333’ which has that Incantation crawl to it, but then bursts out to the usual style that many followers of Wakedead Gathering enjoy. The album pretty much keeps things mid to fast after that track, but still features a change up in style like the more older Melodeath output on ‘Empirical Flesh’ which seems a bit more upbeat and less grim despite the production value of the music, and then there is rhythm charged dark and gloom based ‘The Fates’ which has a bit more of a ‘Death n’ Roll’ vibe to it and might be something new for listeners all around, but the groove elements in them almost sounds like it has a bit of Bloodbath’s ‘Bathe in Blood’ churn to it, just less fuzzy and well known. Some even technical prowess is there in some of the way the riffs are structured, which really gives off a side of Lampe’s musical prowess that hasn’t really been seen on the album so far. He has shown variation in the different styles of Death Metal through the pace of the music, but this track is the 1st one that really stands out and doesn’t feel like it is trying to draw from Immolation or Incantation for once. So, ‘The Fates’ is probably the best track on the album.
Overall, ‘Parallaxiom’ is a good start for new listeners. Those who have followed The Wakedead Gathering for a while will feel it is pretty consistent in the discography as far as sound goes. It doesn’t really do anything that will make listeners go ‘whoa! This is new!’ but it mixes things up enough that people won’t complain about it being too much of the same, like some do about the early 2000s string of Deicide albums. Like a Cannibal Corpse who has been cranking about albums for plus 20 years, if the formula works, keep it running, just don’t recycle the same sound too much! Lampe should be proud that he hasn’t really hit his slump yet in his Wakedead career, and hopefully the other projects will take off more and listeners can get to see more of what he can do on the Black Metal side of things as well.