"The way of the South" has resonated through Southern music for generations. That way is most often expressed as raw, to-the-point, unfiltered expression; unflinching delivery oozing with conviction. To put it simply, Southern bands just mean it a bit more. In that tradition, much like predecessors Eyehategod and Buzzov*en, RWAKE and its intensely unique brand of acid-drenched sludge fucking mean it and don't care what you think. RWAKE started out in 1996 as four brothers jamming to kill time, 'cause in Arkansas that's all you have... time. Soon enough those brothers were joined by other brothers (and a sister), and recorded 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 the band's first ventures outside its home state of Arkansas.
In December 1999, RWAKE recorded its first full-length album Absence Due to Projection with Today Is The Day's Steve Austin. The record never saw a proper release and was mostly distributed by the band while on tour via hand-scrawled CD-Rs. RWAKE spent the next few years stringing together shows throughout the Eastern US, developing its overwhelming, cathartic live performances in sweltering warehouses, stuffy basements, and any backwoods DIY show (indoors or out) that would have them. By 2002, RWAKE had recorded its first properly released full-length, Hell Is The Door To The Sun. An hour-long summoning of personal demons and primal fury, Hell Is The Door was the sound of a band with a purpose, and landed RWAKE firmly on the radar of heavy music connoisseurs worldwide.
Two years of writing and touring culminated in RWAKE entering Volume Studios in 2004 with long-time friend Sanford Parker of MINSK to record its third full-length, If You Walk Before You Crawl You Crawl Before You Die. The band hit the road extensively, including runs with Weedeater and Alabama Thunderpussy in addition to spot shows with the likes of Mastodon, High On Fire and dozens more. In January 2006, RWAKE signed with Relapse and that spring made its first appearance as a label artist at the heralded SXSW Music Festival. Just a few short months later, the band was back in Parker's Volume Studios laying its new material to tape. Voices of Omens (2007) hit below the bible belt with thick, tar-black riffing, vicious male and female howls and leads so sweet you'd think they were from Georgia.
Not to be outdone by its own work, RWAKE geared up for another full-length entitled Rest in 2011, a release that found the band more widespread recognition than they’d ever seen before and garnered them critical acclaim from publications including Pitchfork (7.8/10), Metal Injection (9/10), Stereogum, and Last Rites; the former stated that “Rest is the best album of RWAKE’s career, further proof that doom does exist beyond Neurosis.” Since 2011, the band has been brooding patiently, taking the time to arrange its next slab of Southern malignance and playing shows sporadically. RWAKE performed at Maryland Deathfest in 2012, and also performed at select gigs alongside Neurosis, Pallbearer, Dysrythmia, A Life Once Lost, Yob, Wovenhand and many others. The band also remastered and released its 1998 demo Xenoglossalgia: The Last Stage of Awareness in early 2015, adding new art and packaging the release with 3D graphics and glasses. The world may have to wait a bit longer for the return of RWAKE, but like the Southern heat that’s inspired the band’s music for nearly twenty years, the band will undoubtedly creep back stronger, thicker, and more severe than ever.
Jeff Morgan - Drums
Brittany "The B" Fugate - Moog/Vocals/Samples
Kiffin Rodgers - Guitar
Chris "CT" Terry - Vocals
Kris "Gravy" Graves - Guitar
John Judkins - Bass
Chris Newman - Guitar