On Wings of Wax – The Empty Bed

The Empty Bed cover art

Artist On Wings of Wax
Album ‘The Empty Bed’
Genre Post-Metal | Djent | Progressive
Buy/DL Bandcamp
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Label Any and All Records
Release Feb 17 2013
Rating Excellent

On Wings of Wax, Melbourne-Victoria’s Adam Kluga’s primarily one man show is one of those bands that’s like a wish fulfillment. Though undeniably contemporary, heavy, and forward-looking, ‘The Empty Bed’ is so familiar that it feels like it has existed inside you all along.  Kluga not only outshines a whole pack of other bands with similar sounds, he does so with hidden nuances, great pacing, and warmth.

Incorporating the pummeling drum and bass assault of early to mid career Godflesh, ‘The Empty Bed’ adds much more melody and feeling, with multi-layered guitars and synths. Songs are narrative and beautiful, fully realized pastiches of emotion. The  “right on the nose” production further adds to this. It exhibits just enough polish to smooth, not blunt the harder edges, making the aural environment shine.  Drums sound large and live. Texture abounds, but is clear. Nothing overwhelms the total picture.

At some times anthemic and others melancholic, the nine songs all share an authenticity about them. The listener can feel that this is genuine. There are no superfluous touches. No musical wankery. This album has an energy that isn’t easily duplicated. Even in a period in which much music is easily accessed, consumed, and, ultimately, disposable, On Wings Of Wax comes off as vital.

Kluga is a very accomplished musician, as demonstrated time and time again on this release.  From the subtle tapping and jazzy drums on the intro to “Knots” to the stop start rhythmic figure that leads into amazing tremolo flight on “Of Bliss and Expectation.”  Compositionally everything flows like a dream. The first listen is exciting and fresh, yet the replay value is huge, allowing one to dissect the textures, and experience the ambience of less obvious portions.

More than many other bands and albums that go for this “sound,” On Wings Of Wax executes what I would call “post-Djent” not just competently, but with style and great sensibilities. ‘The Empty Bed’ felt like it was singing to my heart.