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Awaketh - Awaketh

by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 08 July 2021, 6:05 AM

Back in the second half of the 90’s, it was usual to label Black Metal acts in two different trenches: Grim Black Metal (those who want to use a brutal and nasty approach, with fast tempos sometimes, as MAYHEM, IMMORTAL, DARKTHRONE and DARK FUNERAL), and melodic Black Metal (those with the use of melodies and orchestrations, as CRADLE OF FILTH, DIMMU BORGIR and ROTTING CHRIST). But there was a trench inside Grim Black Metal that was hard for the fans to understand: Raw Black Metal, something that evolved from DARKTHRONE’s “Under a Funeral Moon” and “Transylvanian Hunger” sonorities, and from LLN bands. And the Spanish act AWAKETH is a proud follower of such elements, as shown on “Awaketh”.

It’s a harsh, crude and aggressive form of Black Metal that was usual on the first half of the 90’s, with that same funereal feeling that became romantically missed by the older fans. But to be honest, the musical efforts of the band are hard to understand sometimes, but even in this way, this compilation (yes, it’s a collection from the material released on the band’s two Demo Tapes, “Demo MMXX” and “Demo II - MMXX”, both released in 2020, with two unreleased songs) shows that raw and nasty musical approach of the past that will be a case of ‘love at the first hearing’ for those that miss the past.

But there’s a grave mistake on “Awaketh”: the sonority. Sorry, but even in extreme releases back on the 90’s, the bands tried to make themselves understandable for the fans, because even the ‘total fuck you’ approach can’t work in a proper way. DARKTHRONE, GORGOROTH, ANCIENT (on “Svartalvheim” days) and other masters of such way learned it, and releases masterpieces. But with such putrid sonority it is hard to understand what the band is trying to express.

“Horned Throne”, “Rapture” and “Haunting Presence”, from “Demo MMXX”, shows some good features, but are truly hard to understand (even with efforts from those who know such Black metal genre). On “Blood Magick”, “Enlighten” and “Rising Spirit”, things are better defined, but still extremely putrid that makes things truly fuzzy. But there’s hope, because something on the “Nocturnal Lust” and “Burning Golgotha” is point for a better sound outfit (and can be better understood for the senses), what shows a band on an Old School Black Metal form that is personal.

Once more, the same advisement: a better sonority can make music not only understandable, but can improve what is done, as classics as “Under the Sign of the Black Mark”, “Destroyer”, “Total Death” and others are here to show. So AWAKETH must improve on the recordings on their next release.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 5
Production: 3

2 Star Rating

1. From the Caves
2. Horned Throne
3. Rapture
4. Haunting Presence
5. Nocturnal Lust
6. Endless Fear
7. Blood Magick
8. Enlighten
9. Rising Spirit
10. Burning Golgotha
Record Label: Signal Rex


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