Editors’ Notes Ashes of the Wake is a quintessentially American metal album: tight and efficient, with a clear emphasis on visceral impact. Guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler possess a deep arsenal of intricate time-signature changes and technical progressions, yet they’re always in service of the group’s relentless grooves. Howler Randy Blythe couldn’t care less about dragons and wizards; on “What I’ve Become” and “Hourglass,” he’s too busy tearing at the scabs of his own alienation. Bad-vibes music for suburban nihilists doesn’t get any better.

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