Awaking State
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Awaking State

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Alternative EDM




"Underground Musix"

"It's no surprise that this Toronto group has such a growing fanbase" - Florence Gangnon

"Indie Night In Canada"

"This high energy band assaulted the audience with cool melodies and wicked beats...killer sound...I will absolutely check them out again." - Zeke

"Explore Music - A Canadian Band Takes on the World"

Through any given year, I get a chance to meet with a variety of young bands which are just starting out. A couple of years ago, I met Kent Martell, an ambitious dude who managed to make friends with Sylvia Massy, producer of Tool’s Opiate and Undertow, some System of a Down and even a little Prince. Kent convinced Sylvia that his brand new baby band, Awaking State, was worth something.

Now they’re working together. I’ve heard some of the stuff and it’s good.

Currently, Awaking State is the only Canadian finalist in a contest that will see an unsigned band play the massive South By Southwest even in Texas next March—plus some publicity and a $5K cash prize.

Give a listen to what Kent and Sylvia have been concocting...

- Alan Cross

"FAZER magazine CEMF 2009 review"

Awaking State took the stage at 3:30pm by brandishing their sound that is equal parts electronica and alternative rock, and let the audience have the best of both worlds. The band members exploded with energy like they were at war with their instruments as well as themselves, as it was truly a battle of man versus machine. The songs “Cities Burn Down” and “Let It Go” allowed the band to weave an intricate musical web of instrumental passages intertwined with a mixture of reflective thoughts and dark feelings.

Lead singer Kent Martell truly stripped his performance down to a balancing act between his primal scream and emotional singing. The band blended bruising guitar riffs, eclectic drum beats, and sonically thick keyboard chords mixed with electronic programming to create a dense, atmospheric army of sound. With so many musical tools being put to use and so many band members to kick them into high gear, watching Awaking State was like watching Martell annihilate the audience with his music. The emotional inflection and contrast of Martell’s vocals overtop of a huge range of tight guitar riffs and ambient electronics, gave way for him to embrace the audience by releasing his inner demons through the music.

If you get a chance to catch this band while they’re on the rise, do it now before they explode. Awaking State is currently recording their debut album with the legendary producer Sylvia Massy who has teamed up with the likes of Tool, Rage Against the Machine, and the Deftones.

Fazer caught up with Martell and keyboardist Joey V. to explore ideas behind the music of Awaking State in an exclusive interview so be sure to watch that soon on our website. -


by Nathalia Ribeiro

Five fresh tunes from bands you otherwise might have missed.

“Cities Burn Down” by Awaking State

Alan’s been following this guy named Kent Martell. He’s a super music fan from Toronto who came in to see him with some demos over the years. But he had ambition for his band, which he calls “Awaking State”. Kent attracted the attention of Sylvia Massy, one of Tool’s producers. She invited Kent and the band down to her studio and helped mould those demos.

Two songs were picked and put into a beautiful press package. This is how you stand out from the pile of stuff that comes in the mail every day. This is gorgeous. Alan’s going take pictures and post them on the website so you can see the work that went into this.

One of the two songs that came with the press pack is called “Cities Burn Down”. Tool, Nine Inch Nails, early Filter—that’s the headspace.

There’s an EP called “Into The Machine” out now, but something more is coming in the spring. Keep an eye out for these people.
- Alan Cross


Still working on that hot first release.



Alternative rock with a heavy electronic and industrial feel, Toronto’s own Awaking State is a band which has been compared directly with such industry leaders as Nine Inch Nails, Linkin Park and Tool. Headed by Kent Martell, a front man with an unmistakable energy and presence when on stage, Awaking State has managed to put together the kind of live show usually associated with bands with major label backing.

Awaking State is a band racking up an impressive resume. They have twice played the Cutting Edge Music Festival, where they shared a stage with some of today’s big names, such as The Roots, Bedouin Soundclash, Protest The Hero, Andrew WK, Ill Scarlett. They were even named #1 on a list of the top 5 songs you gotta hear, by Alan Cross on ExploreMusic.

Awaking State, with their “unique blend of industrial, alt rock, electronic and drums’n’bass that seems to dominate the stage every time they play” (Corina Newby, has managed to attract the attention of industry titans, including grammy award winning producer Sylvia Massy, whose credits include such iconic names as Johnny Cash, Tool, System of a Down, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Aerosmith and Prince. Sylvia jumped at the chance to work with the band after first hearing them, and she has been working with them since 2008 when she helped produce their five track EP “Into the Machine”. Awaking State front man Kent Martell even had a chance to sit down with Trent Reznor, an honor he earned by making waves with his own remix of Nine Inch Nails in a contest held by 102.1 The Edge and Universal Records.

She has since signed on to work with the band again in 2012 and 2013 on their upcoming three part masterpiece 'The Destruction Cycle'

Most importantly of all, Awaking State has brought together a loyal following of fans which come out to see their shows, rain or shine. Such dedication comes as little surprise when you read reviews of their live show, which have been described as an “intense audio/visual experience” and “darkly energetic alternative rock ….. dominated by an electronic edge, reminiscent of the sounds created by Nine Inch Nails and Econoline Crush.” (Vanessa Markov,

More than anything, though, Awaking State is a living, ever evolving project, teaming up with internationally recognized artists like Subsonik (USA) and Antiform (NZ) and striking up partnerships with forward thinking companies like ONECondoms.

This is only the beginning.