Wear Your Wounds’ New Album Packs A Stunning Post-Metal Reckoning With Mortality

Wear Your Wounds unveil an unforgettable cascade of gently powerful music on their new album, Rust On The Gates Of Heaven. The work combines numerous sonic threads ending up like the creation of a heavy metal orchestra that’s playing with a stunning amount of restraint. Thanks to the sonic power that’s funneled into the careful steps the album takes, it feels like a sonic equivalent of the often-repeated, ancient imagery of a lion sitting down peacefully with a lamb. The flourishing tunes paint a picture of coming to terms with these powerful elements of our lives, for better or for worse. In a particularly memorable moment before even the midpoint of the album, Converge’s Jacob Bannon solemnly sings that “praying for answers and sending good thoughts does not give back a piece of what’s lost.” Sometimes in the face of towering wreckage, the best thing to do is sit still and quietly think, which is precisely what the sometimes oppressively heavy but consistently alluring Rust On The Gates Of Heaven provides for.

On the new Wear Your Wounds album, project founder Bannon works alongside musicians who are also known well outside of this project, including Mike McKensie of intense metal band The Red Chord, Adam McGrath from the progressive heavy rock leaders Cave In, Sean Martin from prominent heavy metal act Hatebreed, and Chris Maggio, who’s from the intense grindcore band Trap Them. All of his collaborators have participated in other high-profile acts as well.

They combine their sensibilities and introduce new ones to create the stunning experience of going from gentle piano introductions and acoustic moments into thundering, heavy metallic hardcore riffing like from Bannon’s original band while never feeling like they miss a beat. In between those extremes, Wear Your Wounds’ latest incarnation packs rousing post-metal, injecting the somewhat free-form structures of the idea with engaging, slowly building energy. Thanks to the way they’ve framed this new creation — which is the first from the project to feature all collaborators engaging with the writing process — every note feels like it carries a mountain of weight behind it, coloring the listener’s psyche with a somber reflection of the desperate ladders we’ve constructed for ourselves to try and escape the surface level terror wracking our lives that Bannon sings about here.

Maybe there’s a way out, and maybe there isn’t. Rust On The Gates Of Heaven packs a feeling of figuring it out, either way.

5/5 Stars

Listen below. The full album is available July 12 via Deathwish