Genre: Melodic Metal
Listen Now: http://www.facebook.com/OfficialAwaken
As metal continues to evolve in a variety of directions, often overlooked is a vein of more melodic and traditional metal that lives on stellar riffs and soaring vocals. Awaken is an American band that is building on some of the best foundational elements metal has to offer, and they are one of metal’s biggest hidden gems right now.
Vocalist and composer Glenn DaGrossa formed the band out of the ashes of Lazarus, a band which released a single EP with stunning potential. Awaken proves that many years later, Glenn is still at the top of his game, and while he provides fantastic vocals for the record, the top strength of the album lies in Glenn’s songwriting. I’d challenge any metal fan to listen to this album and not get drawn in by the hooks that taken hold song after song. In an alternate universe I could easily have seen Queensryche writing this album after Operation: Mindcrime, and the similarities between the two bands can be heard during the main riff of “Bones to Dust”, which sounds very similar to the primary riff of Mindcrime’s title track.
While guitar solos are certainly present on the disc, and many are fantastic, one should not approach this album expecting any extreme technical wizardry from anyone. All the parts simply seem to fit together in a manner that, after every track, makes me think, “wow, that was a great song”. Throughout the disc I find a few parts which I’m not particularly fond of, but they are not numerous and they don’t appear in any single track in a large enough number for any of the tracks to go down as bad.
The band is currently searching for a label to give Awaken a proper release, but in the meanwhile they remain one of America’s best unsigned bands. For now anyone who wishes to hear the album can do so freely on the band’s facebook page, and I urge everyone to show some support for a very deserving band.
Nick’s Rating: 9.5/10