Friday 24 September 2021

Album Review: THE AWAKENING - This Alchemy


01. Bitter Bliss
02. Into The Machine (part 1 + 2)
03. Zero Down
04. Shadow Call
05. Winter's Unknown
06. When The Fear Subsides
07. A Victory Of Love (Alphaville cover)
08. Take Me Home
09. Empty Garden
10. All Tomorrow's Saints
11. This Alchemy


A new album from Ashton Nyte is always something to look forward to. I generally prefer his albums under 'The Awakening' moniker as they tend to be a bit more 'Rock', or at least a little heavier, and more to my personal tastes. The last Awakening album, Chasm (click for review), was an excellent comeback record and made my top 5 albums of 2018 (click here).

I've had This Alchemy for a while now, and it's taken me a while to get into this new opus. It's a different beast to its predecessor and takes a few listens to be fully appreciated. Overall, it's less 'Rock' and more Darkwave, kinda like an evil Depeche Mode. There has been Awakening material in this vein before, but I found the hooks to be more instant. This new album is more subtle and 'arty', but retains the level of depth that one would expect.

Opener, Bitter Bliss, is a piece of creepy, atmospheric Electronica. When I first heard it, I felt it was an odd choice for an opening track as it's slow, takes a while to build up and doesn't really go anywhere. I found it a bit too long to be considered as an intro track too. Having grown on me over time, it certainly does lead in nicely to the upbeat Into The Machine (part 1+2). This may well be my favourite track on the album.

Zero Down makes for a good single with its captivating pulse and caustic lyrics about the exploitation of dead rock stars. Shadow Call is another compelling slab of melancholic Gothic drama with a big chorus. I also love the huge, powerful All Tomorrow's Saints, which would make a great single.

I'm glad I spent some extra time with This Alchemy before writing this, as I initially didn't feel that it stood up to the previous records, and the lack of guitars was disappointing. However, I've been won over and I've found myself listening to this album quite often, getting something different from it on each replay. 


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