“The way of the South" has resonated through southern music for generations and “the way”, it seems, for southern metal bands is often raw, to-the-point, unfiltered expression; unflinching delivery oozing with conviction. The southern bands just mean it a bit more. And in that tradition, like EYEHATEGOD and BUZZOV*EN before them, RWAKE f**king "mean it" and don’t care what you think.
Just over ten years ago RWAKE started out as a four brothers jamming to kill time, 'cause in Arkansas that's all you have...time. And in time those brothers were joined by other brothers (and a sister) and recorded some tracks their first material in September of ’97.
A “real” first demo, Xenoglossalgia: The Last Stage of Awareness, followed shortly as well as a slew of shows throughout the deep south, including their first ventures outside their home state of Arkansas.
In December of ’99, RWAKE recorded their first full-length album with TODAY IS THE DAY’s Steve Austin. For reasons buried by the sands of time, the record never saw a proper release and was mostly distributed by the band while on tour via hand-scrawled CD-R’s.
RWAKE spent the next few years stringing together shows throughout the Eastern US, developing their overwhelming, cathartic live performances in sweltering warehouses, stuffy basements, and any backwoods DIY show (indoors or out) that would have ‘em.
By 2002, RWAKE recorded what would become their first properly released full-length, Hell Is The Door To The Sun. Hell Is The Door... was the sound of a band with a purpose. Less a record than an hour-long summoning of personal demons and primal fury, Hell Is the Door… put RWAKE firmly on the radar of heavy music connoisseurs. ALABAMA THUNDERPUSSY took the band on its first proper North American tour in support of Hell Is The Door… and gave RWAKE a platform to expose its ugliness for all to see.
Two years of writing and touring culminate in 2004 with RWAKE entering Volume Studios (PELICAN, MINSK, UNEARTHLY TRANCE) with long-time friend Sanford Parker of MINSK to record the full-length album ‘If You Walk Before You Crawl You Crawl Before You Die’. ‘If You Walk…’ was released via At A Loss Records and full on bled the sonic hostility the band had become know for. The band hit the road extensively again; including a run with WEEDEATER and spots shows with the likes of MASTODON, HIGH ON FIRE, The HIDDEN HAND, MEATJACK, and many more over the years.
In January ‘06, RWAKE signed with Relapse and that spring made their first appearance as a label artist at the heralded SXSW Music Festival. In one of the most talked-about sets of SXSW ‘06 RWAKE aired out a host of new material that left a trail of slack jaws and blown minds in its wake. Just a few short months later and the band was back in Parker’s Volume Studios to lay that material to tape in the shape of it’s new record Voices of Omens.
Voices of Omens hits below the bible-belt with thick, tar-black riffing, vicious male/female howls and leads so sweet you'd think they're from Georgia. Instead thisArkansas band represents their dirty south with their intensely unique style of acid-drenched metal. Voices of Omens is a hostile explosion of hideously impure American metal which emanates an eerie and unsettling vibe; haunting in atmosphere and hallucinogenic in it's effect on the listener.