Album Title: The End Of Noise
Label: The Artisan Era
Date of Release: 11 February 2022
An acronym for ‘We Are In Transit’, WAIT is an interesting find and one I thought I should bring to everyone’s attention. WAIT is currently a trio and if you like metal, there’s a decent chance that you will have come across a couple of the musicians involved in the band. Charlie Eron and Max Phelps formed WAIT in 2016, the latter a guitarist and vocalist who has been involved with the likes of Cynic, Exist, and Defeated Sanity during his career. The duo were later joined by bassist Alex Weber who can cite Exist, Svengahli, Jeff Loomis, and Sabbath Assembly on his resume.
‘The End Of Noise’ is the debut full-length album following the release of an EP in 2019 entitled ‘We Are In Transit’. It features seven tracks over a run-time of somewhere in the region of 50 minutes. You’ll not be surprised to learn then, that the music on ‘The End Of Noise’ finds itself within the progressive metal realm.
Whilst I think it’s fair to say that this album hasn’t completely blown me away, there is enough about it to recommend you take a listen for yourselves to make up your own mind. I certainly find plenty of elements that I like, starting with the heaviness of the music. This isn’t light, airy-fairy prog, this has strong riffs delivered with precision, veering into djent territory quite often. There are periods of calm and quieter soundscapes, but the foundation of WAIT’s music is essentially technical and heavy.
The press release does not mention the drums except to say that they were handled on the EP by Anup Sastry. Whoever (or whatever) is responsible, they sound punchy and very competent, if a little unremarkable at times. The same cannot be said for the bass of Weber, as the instrument is all over this record, one minute dancing, the next rumbling with power to add further gravitas to the guitar riffs.
The opening track took a while to work on me because the lead guitar melody is very prominent within what is almost entirely an instrumental workout. The guitar riffs are a stop-start chugging djent-like affair and the lead guitar melody noodles over the top for large periods, occasionally sounding ever so slightly discordant or flat. I entirely suspect that this is deliberate and actually, after a while, it gets under your skin. It’s certainly memorable. In the final few moments, clean vocals enter, a delicate addition to the churning riffs beneath, and an inescapable similarity to Cynic springs to my mind. Of course, there is a big difference, but the echoes are there to be heard.
‘Earths Last Orbit’ is quite possibly my favourite track on the album. The vocals are again clean and they carry a definite melodic presence, making the song one of the more immediate on ‘The End Of Noise’. Even though the technicality remains, the song demonstrates a slightly more organic feel, with the word ‘grunge’ popping into my head at times. Gruff barked vocals come into play at the halfway mark and they fit the music well, as the drums pound and the riffs chug and churn nicely. If I was to be a little critical, I’d venture to suggest that the track doesn’t necessarily warrant its run-time of over seven minutes, but that aside, it’s a cool song.
That last criticism is also relevant to other songs on ‘The End Of Noise’ too. I find my mind wandering as the music tends to wander without direction on a few occasions whilst not really delivering a killer blow. The technicality is present, whilst the ideas and ability are in place too. However, the songwriting is just a bit bland at times, with a lack of variety on display. And crucially, a lack of melody is probably my biggest disappointment overall. With a little less chug, and a bit more melody, this could have been an even bigger hit with me.
Nevertheless, tracks like ‘Reverie’ have some great moments within them, especially the more pronounced synths and vocal delivery that combine to remind me again of Cynic amongst others. There’s an otherworldly feel to the track that I rather like, as well as latching on to some of the complex riffs that seem to make a greater impact. And the drumming feels more exuberant too, another positive aspect.
The album ends with a near nine-minute closer in the form of ‘Until The Road Is Closed’. And actually, after repeated listens, it becomes a strong final note upon which to finish the album. It is arguably the most varied track, with interesting semi-gruff vocals adding a dark, sinister edge to compliment quieter passages that are equally dark. But, as the song develops, so does a greater sense of melody, and it is this that gently recedes into nothing, signalling the completion of ‘The End Of Noise’.
There’s definitely enough on this debut to entertain me and there’s definitely enough here to suggest rather strongly that there is yet more to come from this trio. ‘The End Of Noise’ is a commendable, occasionally excellent, debut release that I’m certain will find favour with many of you. And I shall, without doubt, keep my eyes and ears open for more music from WAIT in the future. Let’s just hope that the wait (sorry) isn’t too long.
The Score of Much Metal: 78%
Check out my other 2022 reviews here:
You can also check out my other reviews from previous years right here: