REVIEW: AWAKE THE SUN – The Barren Sleep (2016)


Bernard’s first review sees him broaden his horizons

Italian progressive metal anyone? I can’t say I’ve ever listened to any Italian bands over the years but there are certainly a great number of bands coming out of mainland Europe who come under the progressive metal tag.

Awake The Sun are a project featuring former members of Ensoph, Alkemic Generator, Cube and Howl of Minerva and the press release tells us ‘the project blends together dark progressive metal and electronic/ambient influences  with the aim to create unique misty melancholic atmospheres and to obtain a personal interpretation of the classic European Dark/Doom metal sounds’. Not sure I would have put in in quite those words but I get where they are coming from as the entire album certainly has an ambient feel to it.

Prelude ‘Awake’ leads into the first track proper ‘No Sun’ which is typical Euro Prog fare with it’s hints of Paradise Lost and for my money, a touch of Oceansize. The tracks that follow are all fairly similar with ‘The Withering’ and ‘Empire’ featuring some touches of metal guitar. Despite this all the tracks seem to merge into one with the vocals not helping by being buried in the mix. An over-enthusiastic use of the kick drum also gets a bit tiring as the album passes by. The last track ‘Redemption’ is for me also the best and the one where their collective efforts seem to come together in a more cohesive number.

I can’t fault the playing but they perhaps need a more commercial ear with their writing to lift them above support band status and to attract more attention in an already saturated market.

Rating – 6/10

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