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Reality Suite - Awaken Award winner

Reality Suite
Awaken
by Marco Angileri at 27 July 2019, 5:41 AM

 REALITY SUITE is an interesting band formed in 2009 in North Haledon, New Jersey, by childhood friends Brian King (drums), Joe Padula (guitars) and Antonio Valenti (bass), that found most likely its own definitive identity in 2013, when vocalist Kimmii Heart joined the band.  In 2018 the release of the EP “Awaken” put a lot of attention on the hard-rock act and finally in 2019 the “Awaken (Deluxe)” was released, first full-length album not band-produced. Not being familiar with the band, I had first had a listening to the previous “Skinn” (2015), that created a lot of expectations in me.

And, I was not disappointed and a little bit surprised. First of all, production is far more better, sounds are clear and modern, especially compared to “Skinn”. And the songwriting? I would say that, while “Skinn” was more “classic” rock style, “Awaken (Deluxe)” winks on a much modern sound, merging some mainstream elements, but let’s start from the start. The cover: it reveals from the very beginning the band evolution into more modern territories; it reminds vaguely of a mix between the covers of “Stoosh” and “Paranoid & Sunburnt” by my beloved Skunk Anansie. And the sound confirms it too (the modern sound, not the similarity with the band!).

The album starts with “Kiss the Ring”, the real highlight of the full-length, but not the only one. I love this song: fresh, modern, full of energy, with a catchy chorus that from the very beginning reveals the great voice and the great personality of Kimmii Heart.  And it is not a just a flash of light: the following “Live Now Forever”, “Blame it on Angels”, “Bury me Alive” are on the same high level, especially the latter (I love the powerful rhythm interlude). “Cut, Burn and Bruise” is a softer rock song, nice melody, catchy; comes at the right moment, just to relief the pressure from the gas pedal.

“Dead to Me” (the other single) follows, and also here I like a lot the rhythm section, especially how the drumming of Brian King plays together with the voice of Kimmii Heart. “Wrong with Me”, although a good track, with rhythm changes and good melody, does not convince me, in particular in my opinion the chorus is a little bit repetitive and boring and in my opinion is the weakest track on this full-length. “Grave” and “Lust” close the official album in style. There is still time for a clean version of “Kiss the Ring” and “Wrong with Me” (but, c’mon, we are rockers, and we like the explicit version!), as well as an acoustic version of “Grave”, really appealing, which ends this enjoyable full-length.

“Awaken (Deluxe)” is a big step forward from the previous “Skinn”: REALITY SUITE delivers a solid and mature performance, a masterly mix of melodies, riffs, drumming and a really wonderful voice, together with a pristine production of Mike Ferretti and Earl Cohen, which contributed to the evolution of the band sound, mixing together a classic and modern rock sound, as well as some pop/mainstream elements. Well done!

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Kiss The Ring
2. Live Now Forever
3. Blame It On Angels
4. Bury Me Alive
5. Cut Burn Bruise
6. Dead To Me
7. Wrong With Me
8. Grave
9. Lust
10. Kiss The Ring (Clean Version)
11. Wrong With Me (Clean Version)
12. Grave (Unplugged)
Lineup:
Kimmii Heart - Lead Vocals
Brian King - Drums, Vocals
Joe Padula - Guitars, Vocals
Antonio Valenti - Bass, Vocals
Record Label: Lion's Pride Music
     


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