Set to impress melodic metal and power metal fans…
Review by Woody
Release date: 16 May 2015
With band members coming from all corners of the Midlands region Awake By Design truly are a Midlands band in its broadest sense. Although these guys have been knocking around the local scene for a while their latest album Carve The Sun is my first taste of their brand of melodic metal. To say I was impressed following my initial listen is an understatement and Awake By Design have produced a striking professionally produced and composed collection of epic and grandiose metal that should have them making the big boys of the genre trembling in their studded leather boots!
One of the strengths of Carve The Sun is that it makes a great first impression and that makes it a really easy album to enjoy and appreciate. It has a strong smooth melodious edge but it does have a strong powerful drum and bass beat giving many of the songs an urgency that will appeal to power metal fans. That said though it’s never excessively aggressive and the heavy emphasis on melody from vocal harmonies to melodic Maiden style guitar solos to the epic pompous atmospheric keyboards means the style and flow of these songs will make the band appeal to those who prefer their music a little softer and melodic.
The defined and infectious guitar riffs and melodic solo’s delivered by guitarist’s Callum Downing and Luke Smith really makes a lasting imprint on your consciousness. Vocalist Adrian Powell also makes a big impression with his likeable vocal tone drifting from deep and powerful to soaring melodic melodies, his vocal versatility adds to the light and shade shown on the varying moods of the songs on the album. The pomp and majesty shown by keyboardist Jan Sissons could give fellow Midlander Mark Stanway of Magnum a run for us money and have to admit some of my favourite touches on the album are delivered by Sissons.
‘Tired Of Angels’ was an instant hit with me and its contagious melodies would make it the ideal single or lead track from the album. Sometimes even metal bands can go all acoustic on you and amidst the power and pomp is the rather awesome ‘World Of Mirrors’ which really hooks you in with its intricate guitar playing and vocal harmonies which accentuate the already memorable chorus! Another track that stands out is album closer ‘Moments of Fame’ which is extremely smooth and infectious and I particularly enjoy Powell’s vocals on this one amidst some damn fine melodious guitar riffage.
The driven guitars and majestic keyboards should make Awake By Design appeal to fans of Eden’s Curse and Neonfly. If you didn’t know otherwise when listening to Carve The Sun you’d be stunned to realise Awake By Design are an unsigned act and they are definitely set to impress melodic metal and power metal fans upon the release of this album.
8 out of 10
- Tired Of Angels
- Falling On Me
- Carve The Sun
- Yesterday’s Rain
- World Of Mirrors
- From Disgraced Land
- Moments of Fame
- Out Of Line
This is one hell of an album that should appeal to a wide cross section of people who are into all kinds of metal and prog rock. Come and check them out and buy a copy of the CD at the album launch at the Slade Rooms on 16th May! Support bands mallen and The Mighty Wraith are well worth a listen too – six quid in – you know that makes sense!
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