In August of 2010 two Aussie brothers in metal decided it was time to give the global metal community a swift kick in the butt with a 'no bullshit' approach that could only come from a nation responsible for AC/DC. And although it might be hard for someone to draw a correlation between Awoken By Death and AC/DC.....the balls to the walls, no holds barred attitude pours out of the speakers in both cases.
Musically speaking what I'm hearing is a synthesis of Napalm Death, early Cannibal Corpse, and sometimes the war drumming and epicness of the likes of Amon Amarth peaks through. These guys set out to do something original, and I think they have succeeded. Tracks like 'Walls of Treachery' instantly told me one thing; these guys do not want to sound like everybody else, and they aren't afraid of jamming on a simplistic riff, as long as its bad ass enough! For a band consisting of two members, (Shane on Vocals, and Matt on guitars, bass and drum programming), these guys are like a more accessible Anaal Nathrakh. By no means a bad thing. They do not stick to the confines of death metal and are willing explore different sounds. With the doomy and near black metal approach of 'A Wretched Disgust', these guys shows quite a lot of versatility.
I was pleasantly surprised when I checked out these guys. The riffs are there, the vocals kick ass and aren't dry and monotone....this dynamic duo promises great potential. I'm not the easiest metal fan to satisfy and I feel a lot of up and coming bands are too generic. This is not the case with Awoken By Death. I would certainly keep my eye on these guys in the time to come, so metal heads worldwide take note! Once these guys solidify a solid touring line up, there is no telling how far they can go. I for one am looking forward to the day that these guys cross the shores and invade the North American lands.
Ian for Metal Master Kingdom
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Plenty of tracks to display the brutality and versatility of this amazing young band.
“So you pray to the Gods to protect us… We have many Gods.. They only have the one..”
That line.. that ONE SIMPLE line.. was enough for me to say “Mmmhmm.. I’m going to be liking this.. “ and sure enough, I wasn’t disappointed.. Now I don’t scare easy, it takes a lot to frighten me.. And the very last time I was frightened to listen to an album at night for fear of what images my over-active demonic-horror-movie-infused imaginative brain might conjure up was King Diamond’s “Them” but Awoken By Death has now proudly taken that spot.. All of the tracks are extremely haunting and yet desecrating at the same time..
To say this is a brutal assault on the ears is misleading: Your ears will never forget it.. Once you listen, it’s embedded..
“Walls of Treachery” is unparalleled as far as any core/grind/brutality goes.. To some it will be an acquired taste.. but to others it’s like birds on the wind.. It’s just non-stop energy from beginning to end.. The production value isn’t of the highest quality but in this case that’s a good thing as it keeps all the elements raw and true..
“No Salvation” has to be my favourite track of them all even though it’s a short one, clocking in at just over 2 minutes.. I’m a big fan of metal instrumentals simply because no one does them anymore.. The few spoken lines is just enough to give it that edge and yet still maintain it’s brutality..
Ending off with “Ruins of a Defiled Shrine”, well, here we have it, kiddies.. The coup-de-tat.. The gutterals are just rumbling and it’s obvious that there is SOME vocal training that Shane has done, else he would have blown out his voice by now.. I swear he is possessed by some hellacious demon for those noises to come from his voice box…
I can see them opening for Cannibal Corpse easily.. And watch out world because when they do, it’s going to knock you straight off your puny axis and launch you into another universe..
Awoken by Death is a Black Metal band with an attitude that impressed me. When they approached us on the website, I noticed they were from Adelaide in South Australia. It shows good initiative to approach foreign review sites that would get them noticed on a more global scale.
The biography endeared them to me. They have gone through a lot of line up changes and a lot of horseshit, but haven't given up. This kind of determination in an unsigned band is often spoken of but seldom displayed in practice. They appear to have the right mindset to really rise to the challenge.
They have also have their own line of t-shirts. It's nice to see the self-powered marketing machine operating at full power!
Musically, Awoken by Death offer an interesting blend. The drums and vocals are very extreme, but the riffs often aren't. This actually is a good thing, as it makes all of the different parts of the band stand apart rather than mixing into a cacophonic mess, as is sometimes the case in this sub genre. Although I'm not a fan of the vocal style in Black Metal, it is well executed throughout this demo.
There are some interesting elements to the whole 'A Wretched Disgust' EP that make this is a refreshing change to the usual Black Metal fare. For example, 'Walls of Treachery' opens with an atmospheric voice over that is reminiscent of the Richard Burton spoken word intros on Manowar songs like 'Defender'. I liked the riff, which was even slightly Black Sabbath in its execution.
The voiceovers reappear on the instrumental 'No Salvation'. After its threatening opening, a voiceover starts that has so many effects on it, I had a little difficulty understanding the words. However I felt like I was getting a distorted phone message from a kidnapper, which is a powerful effect in itself.
'A Promise of Violence' heftily delivers on its vow, providing us with a strong headbanging riff and good breakdown. This one feels like it will definitely work very well live and has an enjoyable variation in pace throughout.
'A Wretched Disgust' and demo closer 'Ruins of the Defiled Shrine' have a much more traditional sound. It's well done, but it could be anybody unfortunately. That is the polar opposite of songs like 'A Promise of Violence' and 'Walls of Treachery' which have a signature sound that makes the band instantly identifiable. There are parts of 'Ruins of the Defiled Shrine', like the heavy, half time breakdown towards the end that I liked, and the slightly 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' sounding riff. My only reservations about these two songs though, are that they sound like numerous other band's musical efforts.
Putting these minor quibbles aside, 'A Wretched Disgust' is a strong document of what Awoken by Death have to offer. I would say they are Black Metal in origin, but with some interesting twists that will make them stand out from the crowd.
We were recently contacted by Shane from Awoken By Death, a death metal band from Adelaide, South Australia.
Formed in 2010 by members Shane and Matt, the guys have just finished their EP and so suggested we should take a listen to what they’ve got going on.
Looking over their info and noticing that they recruited Todd who used to drum for The Berzerker, I can’t help but feel that this is going to be something pretty damned heavy!
Opening with Walls Of Treachery I wasn’t disappointed, ushering in the track with some spoken lyrics and haunting sound effects, soon you’re being hammered by some downright sludgy riffs and pounding drums. The double bass kicks in to elevate everything and before you know it, you’ll find yourself jumping around your front room like a lunatic to the melee of roaring vocals, bass heavy rhythms and all out destruction that is unleashed. Throwing in a solo over some Berzerker style drumming, this is a track which isn’t for the feint hearted – it’s heavy, raw, has the least amount of production on it to keep it sounding like the band and doesn’t relent until the moment the track comes to a close. What I really like about this track personally is how the drumming changes throughout the track to add in a sense of progression, not allowing the track to become predictable or stuck in a certain convention.
A Wretched Disgust continues this theme, only this time even harder and more aggressive than before. Faster, syncopated and downright dirty from the moment the track begins, there’s a real sense that this is another track designed to get live crowds ripping apart venues. I really like the guitar work on this track as well, there’s melodic moments within the distorted mix which allow listeners to connect with it, whilst all the time still making sure the all out death metal outlook is maintained. Instrumental track, No Salvation follows on and keeps everything very much in the dark vein set up so far. Spoken lyrics echo around the track as it progresses, the drums rolling at insane pace, the guitars relatively restrained for the genre yet somehow sounding heavier because of this holding back. This is possibly my personal favourite track from the page, and I think it’s largely down to the slow pace of the guitar work contrasting over the fast paced drums – it creates a mix which acts almost as a soundtrack to a moment – what that moment is I’ve yet to work out!
A Promise Of Violence is everything that you would expect from a death metal band, fast paced, heavy and an all out assault on your ear drums from the moment it begins until the moment it comes to a close.
This is serious stuff here and not the sort of track which fans of softer music will enjoy at all, but if like me you like seriously seriously heavy stuff from time to time, then this is for you. Aggressive doesn’t come close to explaining the sound they’ve managed to unleash here – the drumming is quite simply insane and raises this track to a pace which is nigh on impossible to explain! Closing the selection with Ruins Of The Defiled Shrine it’s clear that this is a band intent on destruction! The music is hard hitting from start to finish and this track is no exception, closing the album with an almighty kick in the teeth and making sure you’re not going to forget what you’ve heard in a hurry!
Awoken By Death are one of those bands that should come with a health warning – beware of what you are about to hear! The music is full on, insanely heavy and has metal written all over it. The guitars are crunchy, the drums insanely fast, the mix bass heavy and the vocals guttural. If you like bands like Cannibal Corpse or Berzerker (both of whom I own albums by) then this is for you, if you like Green Day, then this just might kill you.
~Dave - Loud-Stuff.com