Debut of the heavy metal band Awaken, formed in 2009 by Gleen DaGrossa, chief songwriter and vocalist of the indie power metal band Lazarus. He found some New York all stars to release that self-titled album that points first, if you take a look at it, with the fantastic endtime artwork.
It starts with the „March of Aachen“. Exciting song assembling. Slow with some acoustic guitars that lead to a heavy hookline. An melodic and monumental instrumental with progressive elements.
Hardly blurred guitars at the beginning of „Bones to Dust“. The song structures remember a little to Queensryche in Operation Mindcrime times with a voice near to Rainbow in the 70′s. Good combination. Melodic but ambitious stuff. Awaken has not to hide behind the named bands cause the musical quality is high enough to get into their footsteps.
„Beneath the Surface“ starts faster with a simple but effective riff. Both axemen, Joe Buddha and Scott Bennett, showing experience but for me the production of the guitars could have been better.
The next 7 ½ minutes belong to „Mourning Heroes“. Mystical, acoutic start, followed by a huge riff. Sometimes the song offers darker vibes, progressive structures in the guitar section, lots of breaks. Guitar solo duet and a longer instrumental part stands against the harmonies of the vocals in the refrain. A more progressive highlight of this album based on the strong hard rock roots.
Balladesque moments now….“My silent breath“. Dreamful keyboards and acoustic guitars, clean vocals of DaGrossa that sometimes reaches the class of heavy weights like Glenn Hughes. A wonderul ballad that transports some tragic feelings.
Back on track with „The Inquisitor“. Fast guitars line in the beginning, melodic vocals to follow.
And the album continues in direction darkness…“Death of me“. Guitars and vocals are arranging darker vibes than before. Not wondering cause of the songtitle. Basically a straight song, only interrupted by a short guitar solo.
Another longer track follows with „In this Circle“. Straight guitar hookline together with pumping drums brings it more in heavy metal spheres. One of the hardest songs so far with straight vocals and short twin vocals refrain. Interrupted in the middle by a slower guitar part that again shows the knowledge of the guitarists. The vocals are not that present in this song….most time the instrumental
In the end it is time for….“Awaken“. A huge riff rotates with silent vocal parts. A bit of oriental touch in the guitar work. Later the song moves to a stadium rocker. Great melodies together with a brilliant refrain. Definetely a song written for the big stages. Highest level of 80′s orientated US Hard Rock.
We will definetely hear more about Awaken very soon. It would be a shame if not….
Points: 8 / 10
Review by Kerbinator