Released: 2007, Lion Music/Zink Music
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Awake was named Humanity earlier in their career; the band consists of 6 members and started out 6 years ago in Cambridge, UK. The members are pretty young but have the reputation of being very professional and creative on stage. During 2003 the band recorded their debut album called WHEN SILENCE CALLS and the debut landed the band several gigs in England. In 2005 they did a gig at Bloodstock Open Air in Germany where they met the Swedish metal legends Evergrey and bonded immediately.
When it was time to record their second album they decided to do it without any support from a label and during that time guitarist Steve Wallace quit the band. The band wanted a fresh new sound so they got in touch with the Swedish Division One Studio in Gothenburg and they asked Evergrey leader Tom S. Englund if he would produce them, to which he agreed. Englund also contributes background vocals and Evergrey colleague Henrik Danhage plays lead guitar on the song “Forgive Now Forever”.
Awake have strong musical similarities with Evergrey; they play a very familiar kind of melodic progressive metal that’s both technical and very complex in the same vein as Evergrey. The mood on the album is easily described as sad and dark and you can almost hear the rain pouring outside the window. My main concern with this album is that they sound too much like Evergrey, which drags down the rating. It feels like I have heard this music on an Evergrey album; the only difference between Awake and Evergrey is the lead singer’s sound and that Awake’s music feels a little more radio-friendly and melodic. It can be hazardous to be so inspired by a band that you sound almost exactly like them, which is what happened in this case. It would’ve been nicer if they had been merely influenced by them and not a carbon copy of them.
The 11 songs run 50 minutes, which is a decent length when considering that it’s a progressive album. Most of the material is solid and if it weren’t for the obvious Evergrey rip-off I think I could appreciate this album more. Instead, I get annoyed over the fact that they copy Englund and company. If you’re into Evergrey then this is definitely a band you’re gonna love – or maybe hate. Killer tracks are “Disbelief”, “Crime of Passion”, “Choices in Time”, “The Price You Have to Pay”, and “Dream Within”.