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Enemy Awake – Fallen World

Enemy Awake
Fallen World
by Max Elias at 14 March 2021, 6:32 PM

ENEMY AWAKE is a fiery, powerful two-piece Melodic Death Metal band, and this is their second full-length release. Their music is characterized by driving rhythms, guttural, tormented vocals, and strangely upbeat riffs. The guitar tone is dirty and a little warped, but jubilant nonetheless, whether pounding out chords or marching ahead in a galvanizing triplet attack. “Fallen World” switches between these two modes easily and frequently, and although this may be a weird comparison, for some reason I found myself reminded of THIN LIZZY’s “The Boys are Back in Town” at some parts.

ENEMY AWAKE favors a midpaced, stomping groove in their songwriting. The repetitive, caveman pummeling of “Hate” draws from the Thrash Metal lexicon both in terms of riff character and in riff centrality; just like bands like EXODUS, ENEMY AWAKE built the song around the main riff, and other riffs are slight variants. This songwriting tactic appears in songs like “Cryonation” as well, which is more of a classic Melodic Death Metal, triplet-heavy song, but still built around a strong core riff.

Another apparent characteristic of ENEMY AWAKE’s music is an absence of lead guitar. Some people like wild shredding more than others, but I think in this case, whatever your stance on guitar-hero histrionics, the lack of soloing is regrettable. The reason is that the songs are typically mid-paced and churning (with the exception of the uncommonly aggressive “The Visitor”), and their reliance on one or two strong riffs makes the lose excitement after a while. Some carefully placed lead work would go a long way towards livening up the proceedings.

The most standout track on this album is “The Visitor”, notable mostly for the increase in tempo and technicality relative to the rest of the album. Right away, a blistering drum roll sets a stronger, faster plan of attack that the guitars follow with their buzzing tremolo picked assault. There is also a Thrash Metal influence in the bouncy pedal-tone riffs. A short, expressively melodic break segues between fiery riffing and blast beat sections, ratcheting up the anticipation.

The album ends with a return to the satisfying, ‘meat-and-potatoes’ Melodic Death Metal that ENEMY AWAKE has established themselves as purveying; “Dead Soul”, “Devil Inside”, and “No More” all swagger and lurch with crunchy, high-gain riffs. “Devil Inside” breaks up the formula with an ominous melody that recurs throughout the song, interwoven with ponderous, slightly fuzzy rhythms. The vocals have never once shifted, during the entire runtime of the album, from the earth-shaking AT THE GATES-esque bark displayed on “Fallen World”, “Cryonation”, and the whole first half of the album.

This album is a well-done Melodic Death Metal effort, even if not much exists to recommend it above or in place of other similar albums. The riffing is solid and catchy but by no means surprising or impressive (from a technical standpoint). Good understanding of song construction helps to mitigate the forgettability of individual riffs; however the album as a whole would still benefit from more lead guitar work, be it in the form of soloing or harmonized lines. As it is, the midtempo chugging often feels dull after a few minutes.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Musicianship: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Fallen World
2. Hate
3. Cryonation
4. The Vampire
5. The Visitor
6. Dead Soul
7. Devil Inside
8. No More
Lineup:
Ivan Castro – Guitars
Rebecca Holm – Vocals
Record Label: Independent
     


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