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Ryan Gardner 10/11/11 04:12 PM

Blessthefall - Awakening
 
BlessthefallAwakening
Record Label: Fearless Records
Release Date: October 4, 2011


Picking up right where they left off two years ago with Witness, Blessthefall don’t throw too many curveballs with Awakening. As the second record to feature Beau Bokan on vocals, it’s everything you’d expect from them: ferocious screams, double bass drumming, and drop-tuned guitars.

The growth of the musicianship of the band really strikes you while listening to the record, as Bokan’s clean vocals peak on “I’m Bad News, in the Best Way” and “40 Days…” over shredding guitars and back-breaking drumming. On the former, the mellow singing of “Please take me home” is chilling, as Bokan cements his skill as a vocalist. Moreover, the bloodcurdling screams effectively contrast with clean vocals throughout the record, exemplified best on the powerhouse that is “Promised Ones.”

Lyrically, Awakening has moments of crippling darkness, yet the idea of hope is never far from the surface. On “’Til the Death of Me,” Bokan sings, “And I know sometimes we move too fast / And leave our ghosts behind us but now they're in front of me.” Clearly, Bokan is still fighting the demons encountered on Witness. However, images of hope and faith are still at the backbone of each of the songs, especially throughout “Don’t Say Goodbye,” when Bokan sings, “You will wake from this nightmare / And I know you'll find a better way.”

The final “Meet Me at the Gates” highlights the skill of each member of the band. As a true standout on Awakening, the closer proves memorable due to the atmospheric tone, created by the reliance on soaring clean vocals, ambient guitar work, and relaxed drumming. Unfortunately, the rest of the album finds Blessthefall playing it too safe rather than venturing further into new territories.

While still being an enjoyable record in the genre, Awakening has no true element that makes it stand out from similar records. Nonetheless, fans of Blessthefall’s previous work will undoubtedly enjoy this, while anyone looking for something diverse or simply more creative will just have to keep looking.

6/10

Recommended If You LikeWitness; Our Last Night’s We Will All Evolve

Additional Information
Track Listing:
1. Awakening
2. Promised Ones
3. Bottomfeeder
4. I'm Bad News, in the Best Way
5. The Reign
6. 40 Days...
7. Bones Crew
8. Don't Say Goodbye
9. Undefeated
10. 'Till the Death of Me
11. Flatline
12. Meet Me at the Gates

Blessthefall are:
Beau Bokan – Vocals
Mike Frisby – Guitar
Eric Lambert – Guitar
Jared Warth – Bass
Matt Traynor – Drums

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brandon_260 10/11/11 04:31 PM

This band just can't progress. It seems like they keep making the same record, just a bit better each time. I was let down, but maybe I just need to give it a few more listens.

cococrisp20 10/11/11 04:32 PM

stereotypical adjectives to describe heavy bands ftw!

brandon_260 10/11/11 04:42 PM

Yeah, "mellow", "relaxed", and "ambient" are all stereotypical adjective to describe heavy bands!

Dystroxia 10/11/11 05:57 PM

You ass! I reviewed this, hoping that I would be the only one to review this album :-(

Oh well. Good review!

woodmic 10/11/11 08:28 PM

I wish this was better.

Andrew33 10/11/11 10:00 PM

agree that Meet Me at the Gates is the best track, rest of the album is just too expected.

ScorchOurBodies 10/11/11 10:24 PM

Bokan doesn't scream, the bassist does.

Ryan Gardner 10/11/11 10:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ScorchOurBodies (Post 96301962)
Bokan doesn't scream, the guitarist does.

Totally knew that now that I think about it - thanks

cubs223425 10/11/11 10:32 PM

I actually like the record. I've liked everything they've put out thus far. No, I don't think it's groundbreaking or original, but I like to have a lot to listen to, so if something's not some pristine record of perfection, it's OK, because I would rather listen to a few great records and a bunch of other enjoyable ones than just a few great ones.

Sometimes, I need something to change it up from the constant ferocity of Dead Throne, and I like the guitar on here a lot, as well as the cleans on most songs (they get nasally in sections). I agree it's not great and that someone expecting a masterpiece will be disappointed, but I think it's better than a 60%. I'd give it more of a low-70s rating, but I think I'm less picky or critical as long as I'm enjoying new music.

WeltallAY 10/11/11 10:32 PM

Wrong again, bassist Jared Warth does the screams. As well ex-Before Their Eyes guitarist Elliot Gruenberg plays guitar on this CD (and is their new guitarist).

I agree with the basic content of this review; it's a continuation of Witness. Unfortunately, it hasn't proved to be nearly as memorable but it's still good. I still can't past the #ratings though. I see 6 as 60% which means "F" for failure, when it's not bad at all.

M.Lee 10/11/11 10:34 PM

Such a boring album.

Jake Jenkins 10/11/11 10:35 PM

can't believe i used to like this band

Jake Jenkins 10/11/11 10:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WeltallAY (Post 96302322)
Wrong again, bassist Jared Warth does the screams. As well ex-Before Their Eyes guitarist Elliot Gruenberg plays guitar on this CD (and is their new guitarist).

I agree with the basic content of this review; it's a continuation of Witness. Unfortunately, it hasn't proved to be nearly as memorable but it's still good. I still can't past the #ratings though. I see 6 as 60% which means "F" for failure, when it's not bad at all.

people take far too much stock in number ratings. it's ridiculous. notice the big 6/10 at the bottom. on a scale of 1 to 10, 6 is average or slightly above (which i massively disagree with).

HCO SF 87 10/11/11 10:51 PM

I think this album is soo much like witness, just not as good. The catchy parts aren't as catchy and the breakdowns aren't as creative.