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Once Awake - Inside the Storm

Once Awake
Inside the Storm
by Crisstopher Robyn at 09 May 2019, 6:34 PM

Norway is more well-known for its beautiful landscapes and an active Extreme Metal scene. But modern Death Metal? Nothing you would think about directly, but Hans Petter Solen and Ørjan Paulsen have found another source of inspiration in the beautiful city of Bergen. Adding to the mixture of ONCE AWAKE, are Andrè Kongestøl Solberg (Guitar), Pål Martin Antonsen (Bass) and Frode Hennø (Vocals).  Their Metal-core bumps with edgy riffs, catching melodies and an affinity for Djent, were shown on their 2017 debut “Ever So Cold”.  They will release another tempest with their upcoming album "Inside The Storm" on May 5, 2019. Let’s check out what they bring to the table.

In The Grasp” starts of softly and develops quickly into that distinct Djent sound. The guitars give that heavy sound are filled by high chord accents. The vocal range is a distinctive low growls to higher screams and float back and forth effortlessly. The drums give that heavy pounding without a lot of double to set a different style of beat. “Live Life On” has a slow death feeling in the beginning. The start of the song is a bit different but it doesn’t take long to before the thrashing begins. The speed picks up for the verse but only fades back into the distinct beginning during the chorus. The vocals stay a relatively low growl but still sync well. “Inside The Storm” is one of my more favorite songs from the album. The groovy start gets your head to bobbing as the verse and chorus keep the song thriving. The drums keep the vibe throughout the catchy tune, while the vocals give it more dimension. There is even a small guitar solo which adds a unique element.  “Cynical Era” starts off like a lost song of PANTERA but it doesn’t take long before their own sound takes over. The double bass takes the song into another direction, but we are treated to that reminiscent sound again. The song is definitely a heavy reminder of who the band is while throwing a nod to a major influence. “The Eye” ends the album with a lush, soft intro. Sounds of an acoustic back the electric with soft strums while the lead gives off solo worthy notes. The drums give single beats with soft rim shots to parallel the musical sounds. It is a beautifully constructed instrumental, and it takes me back to the days where these types of songs were on almost every album. To me, it is a great way to end the album.

ONCE AWAKE have developed deeply with their songwriting, as well as, perfecting their groove and catchiness. Sometimes with the mid-tempo groove; sometimes being brisk and aggressive, the quintet pay homage to the old heroes, the Melodic Death giants while still having modern sound. The album is filled with great melodies that take you “Inside The Storm” with flashy guitar solos and emotional lyrics. ONCE AWAKE prove they are a versatile band with the variety of songs encapsulated within their album. They certainly prove they are a band to be noticed in 2019.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 10


4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. In The Grasp
2. Live Life On
3. Deathtrap
4. Inside The Storm
5. Evil Within
6. Stranglehold
7. Cynical Era
8. The Faded
9. Soul Eater
10. The Eye

Lineup:
Ørjan Paulsen - Drums
Hans Petter Solen – Lead Guitar
Andrè Kongestøl Solberg - Guitar
Frode Hennoe - Vocals
Pål Martin Antonsen - Bass

Record Label: Reaper Entertainment
     


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