Rogue Wave: Asleep at Heaven’s Gate


The problem with making a really great sophomore album is that the question later becomes, "How long can they keep this up?".  Unfortunately for Zach Rogue and Co.,the two years since the release of their stellar second album, Descended Like Vultures, were not only rough on their personal lives, but it also resulted in a sprawling, less focused third effort, Asleep at Heaven’s Gate.

In comparison to Descended, Asleep at Heaven’s Gate leaves one wanting more of the stuck-in-your-head-for-days melodies, sweet highs, and dark lows. Instead, after repeated listens, only a few songs leave lasting impressions, namely opener "Harmonium", "Lake Michigan" and the single, “Chicago x 12".  There is noticeable exploration of new instruments and sounds (i.e.steel drum on “Chicago x 12"), which is refreshing in an indie rock landscape that focuses largely on the guitar/bass/drum formula, but it fails to really save the fact that many of the songs lack the strong melodies and well thought out arrangements that Rogue Wave has proven capable of.

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