Sunday 16 December 2018

Album Review: THE AWAKENING - Chasm

The Awakening - Chasm

01. Other Ghosts
02. Shore
03. About You
04. Raphael Awake
05. Back To Wonderland
06. Gave Up The Ghost
07. Savage Freedom
08. A Minor Incision
09. Hear Me
10. Shadows In The Dark

Main-man Ashton Nyte is a busy guy. Earlier this year saw the release of the second MGT album Gemini Nyte (read my review here) which features Ashton on every track this time round. He also sang on three of the songs on the fantastic Beauty In Chaos album (read my review here). Now he's back with his first album under The Awakening moniker in nine years (excluding the 'best of' album).

Anyone who follows my blog will know that I've been a huge fan of Ashton, and particularly The Awakening, for some time, so I've been really looking forward to having a good listen to Chasm.

For the uninitiated, if you enjoy artists like The Cult, HIM, The Mission, The Cure and The Sisters Of Mercy, then The Awakening may well become your new favourite band.

Chasm's release was preceded by lyric videos for Back To Wonderland and Shore, which makes a lot of sense as those tracks are the most instantly accessible, and make great singles. Back To Wonderland is my favourite track on the record with its catchy vocals and chunky guitar riffs. I have no doubt that if Ville Valo had written this song, it'd have sold a million copies by now. It's a superb single, and could potentially earn The Awakening some long overdue mainstream recognition.

The rest of Chasm is a fantastic listen. Whilst enjoyable at first, it takes a few plays to really appreciate the magnificence of this record. The depth and maturity of the writing is evident throughout, and each song has so many layers laced with subtle hooks that reel you further in with each play.

With a distinct lack of fillers, it's incredibly hard to choose favourites. At the moment, I'm hitting the replay button the most regularly on 'Goth Power-Ballad' About You, the heavy and dramatic Raphael Awake, and the epic A Minor Incision. The latter is a great example of how less can be more, with its sinister atmosphere brought about by a creepy piano part, a menacing bass-line, and a simple-yet-crushing guitar riff, all entwined with Ashton's unmistakable baritone vocals. The song concludes with a fast-paced, riff-tastic, climactic outro that bristles with energy and passion.

The Awakening is arguably the best Goth-Rock band in the world right now. Most of the old guard have become mediocre reflections of what they once were or have disappeared altogether, whereas Ashton is on top of his game with possibly the best album he's ever made.


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