The Awakening
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The Awakening

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THE AWAKENING - "Razor Burn" Review

This may be my favorite album from Ashton Nyte. Melodic and haunting at times, always passionate.

After a 1;30 minute intro the album begins with a hard hitting "Arrow." There is that dark overtone but something within the guitars brings light and hope in this great first full track. An up tempo metal influenced track which gets you excited for what's next. The next track, Heaven Waits", goes more in the direction of dark wave. And again with the next track The Awakening gives you another diverse style with a gothic metal track with industrial overtones. "Darkness Calls" is an example of a track with epic proportion. Imagine every style you have heard from Ashton Nyte and add to that an intensity and maturity that is indescribable unless you listen to this album. Other tracks like "Descent" show a more dark pop influence and quickly became one of my favorite tracks on this album. So much of this album displays an incredible amount of depth which literally pulls you into the album wanting to know the heart and mind of the artists. The album tends to become an experience and not just entertainment. The Awakening has given us an amazing album full of metal, industrial dark pop, dark wave and overly excellence.

The lyrics are thought provoking and will cause your spirit to move. Many of the tracks have a beginning of hopelessness, loss and despair with the true guiding light being at the end. The songs may have a dark overtone but it is clear they are going there to bring hope and sight. Ashton Nyte has an amazing voice. It is full of compassion with a melodic overtone that is hypnotic in nature.

This is a must have album for those looking for something different and not being played every other minute on the radio. This is a classic in the making for The Awakening!

========================= - Dennis Minner (March 2007)


?Razor Burn? is the latest album by South Africa's best-kept secret, The Awakening. With this being their eighth studio work to date, this act has long stood as the most popular band of their genre within their homeland. Now, thanks to the metal label, Massacre, with ease one can now get a taste of their music. As reflected by their European home, The Awakening's music has delved deeper into metal in recent years, meshing staccato power chords with traditional gothic rock. Thick guitar work rouses ?Arrow? to life, its power chords punctuated by rugged down strokes and cymbal crashes, while Ashton Nyte hisses and snarls in rich baritone. While this is a rigorous dirge, ?Descent? is where one can find ?Razor Burn?s? club-friendly heart. A retro arpeggio capers to a simplistic plastic drum machine beat, giving steady gait to the sensual deep vocals. Guitars shimmer aloof as if forged from smoke machine fog, leaping to foreground to strike down in athemic strokes for its punchy chorus. Bass crawling like a spider, Nyte seethes through clenched teeth into ?Razor Burn?, a sinister slither rife with stuttering guitar and eerie carnival organ. However, like sun to hit a vampire, the chorus feels like fiery salvation as its organ rises to holy timbre as if feeding Nyte?s lilting heartache croon. Finally, "Bleeding" is a sublime slice of goth atmosphere, sliding in slow motion from a darkened room inhabited by Nyte?s gravel velvet voice, ticking clocks, and steam tunnel sighs before culminating in a stadium-ready, guitar-marred ode to depression. Their musical amalgam is quite unique, like a blender-readied concoction of guitar-industrial, romantic metal, and gothic rock. After hearing Razor Burn, any complaints about a lack of diversity and talent within modern goth should be rendered null and void. (VM:8/9)Vlad M. - Side-Line Music Magazine


THE AWAKENING - "Razor Burn"

Ashton Nyte is one prolific songwriter that knows how to capitalize on the strength of his strong, low vocals, marrying a gothic, doomy sound with danceable grooves and a tad of techno additives as spice. It's a very original sound, but not too far away from the sound of HIM. Razor Burn finds the band in top form, rocking with swagger through eleven excellent songs. I'd love to see how bringing in an outside producer would drawn out even more from this band.

========================= - Doug Van Pelt (Editor)


THE AWAKENING - "Razor Burn"

THE AWAKENING aus Südafrika sind schon seit Jahren ein Geheimtipp in der Gothic-Rock/Metal-Szene, was die Band vor allem ihrem Fleiß zuzusprechen hat. Bereits sieben Alben haben die Jungs seit der Gründung im Jahre 1995 eingespielt, und auch weiterhin planen sie, dieses hohe Arbeitstempo einzuhalten. Nummer acht steht daher bereits in den Startlöchern und ist ein weiterer Beweis dafür, dass skandinavisch anmutende Gothic-Sounds nicht immer dringend aus dem hohen Norden kommen müssen.

Auf "Razor Burn" spielen THE AWAKENING jedoch auch nicht nur stur ihren Stiefel herunter, soll heißen Routine ist bei den Südafrikanern ein echtes Fremdwort. Es wird munter experimentiert, teils mit elektronischen Versatzstücken, teils mit Elementen der eigenen Kultur und vor allem mit der Dynamik der zwölf Kompositionen, die einer stetigen Veränderung ausgesetzt ist. Meist beginnt die Band relativ langsam, baut dabei einen enorm düsteren Soundwall auf, nur um dann wie eine Art Light-Version von TYPE 0 NEGATIVE mit getragenen, epischen Chören Überzeugungsarbeit zu leisten.

Gelingt ihnen dies am Anfang der Platte noch eher mäßig, können sich THE AWAKENING im weiteren Verlauf immer mehr steigern. Die lang gezogenen Finsterklänge entfalten sich immer besser, je langsamer die Stücke voranschreiten, wobei der Höhepunkt das abschließende 'Asylum' ist, ein arg gezerrter Song, in dem Sänger Ashton Nyte mit beschwördenen Vocals auf die Hörerschaft einwirkt und mit fast schon beängstigend erscheinenden Wiederholungen für schaurige Gänsehaut sorgt.

Solche Momente gibt es auf "Razor Burn" des Öfteren, so zum Beispiel im starken 'Oblivion', in dem sich einige kurze Ethno-Einsprengsel wiederfinden, oder im nahezu majestätischen 'Bleeding', welches noch am ehesten an die Genossen um Pete Steele erinnert. Doch auch was die Melodien angeht, hat die Scheibe ihre Momente, wie etwa im heimlichen Hit 'Halo' oder im epischen 'Heaven Waits', einem weiteren Highlight der leidenschaftlich dargebotenen Gothic-Kunst.

Eines darf man bei diesem Album allerdings nicht außer Acht lassen, und das ist die Eingewönungszeit, die man den THE AWAKENING-Hörern definitiv zugestehen muss. "Razor Burn" ist weder komplex noch dissonant, bleibt aber trotzdem gerade zu Beginn etwas sperrig und kann sich erst nach und nach den interessierten Ohrmuscheln öffnen. Nummern wie 'The Neon Sky' oder 'Darkness Cells' sind prinzipiell leichte, eigentlich aber schwer(fällig)e Kost, entpuppen sich aber später als echte Größen dieses Releases.

Mir soll's recht sein, schließlich erstickt die Szene förmlich an Veröffentlichungen von Gruppen, die tagein, tagaus den selben musikalischen Trott pflegen. Speziell unter diesem Aspekt ist "Razor Burn" ein allemal hörenswertes Album, das bei der erforderlichen Geduld schnell verzücken wird.

Anspieltipps: Halo, Razor Burn, Decent

========================= - Björn Backes (Sept 27, 2006)


THE AWAKENING - "Razor Burn" Review

Nach einem kurzen Intro geht’s gleich richtig düster und heavy mit ‚Arrow’ zur Sache. Da kann man den Kopf schütteln und sich in eine andere Welt katapultieren lassen. Und in dieser Düster-Welt bleibt man dann auch bei ‚Heaven Waits’, alles erinnert a bisserl an die seligen Sisters Of Mercy, vielleicht ein bisschen moderner, das kommt vor allem daher, dass einige Elektro-Momente mit eingebaut wurden. Aber auch HIM klingen ab und zu durch, wie in ‚The Neon Sky’ zu hören. Zum fast schon reinrassigen Gothic Metal gesellt sich ab und zu auch eine frische Prise Crossover, was „Razor Burn“ noch einen Tick interessanter macht, als viele andere Veröffentlichungen dieses Genres. Natürlich gibt’s auch weniger gute Tracks auf dem inzwischen achten Longplayer der Mannschaft aus Südafrika um Ashton Nyte. Die starken und schwachen Momente auf „Razor Burn“ halten sich also die Waage, aber man weiß immer wieder, wie man den Zuhörer mit den schaurig schönen düsteren Klängen in seinen Bann ziehen kann. Bestes Beispiel ist das anfangs sehr monotone, dann aber mit einer feinen Melodie durchstartende ‚Bleeding’. Tanzbare Songs wie ‚Descent’ können genauso überzeugen wie das melancholische, als Ballade ans Gemüt gehende ‚Oblivion’ (traumhaft!!!). Für die Gothic-Gemeinde also recht gutes Futter, das ihr euch nicht entgehen lassen solltet, jedem Rock/Metal-Normalo wird sich allerdings der Magen umdrehen… außer bei ‚Halo’, das ist wirklich für jeden geeignet - geil!!! Die Website der Südafrikaner ist unter www.awakening.co.za zu erreichen.
8 von 13 Augen
Andi Anders
- Andi Anders


Like it or not, or believe it or not, Gothic rock is classic rock now. If you link the genre back to its origins, you're looking back to the late '70s when gloom merchants such as Bauhaus, Joy Division, and Siouxsie & the Banshees were bellowing a dark, dissonant noise not too far from the Awakening (http://www.awakening.co.za) are doing in 2007.

But just as Goth injected a breath of cool air into the otherwise bland rock scene in the late '70s so are the Awakening providing a bracing and definitely welcome alternative to these emo-loving times.

You won't find any adolescent whining or screeching guitar riffs on the sweetly titled "Razor Burn." Instead, you will be ushered into another world, one of dimly-lit corridors and pulsating lights. More than contemporaries such as Marilyn Manson, the Awakening sound truly rooted in their British spiritual ancestry, artists like the Sisters of Mercy, Depeche Mode, and David Bowie.

Vocalist Ashton Nyte has an appropriately ominous voice, as deep as Bowie's and as icy as David Gahan's. On songs like "Arrow" and the title track, Nyte's eerie vocals truly produce an atmosphere of dread without crossing over into camp. If you have any familiarity to mid-to-late '80s Goth, the music is exactly what you're expecting: Chilly guitars with danceable, throbbing synthesizers.

Of course, the Sisters of Mercy weren't this loud but the Awakening are from another generation, the Nirvana revolution turned up the amps 16 years ago and there they shall remain for now. Nevertheless, the Awakening are just melodic and catchy as their aging idols.

http://www.whisperinandhollerin.co.uk/reviews/review.asp?id=5201
- Michael Sutton


THE AWAKENING - Review

To keep with a foreign vibe in this months Sonic Bids selections, we venture to South Africa for this one. The Awakening is a Goth/Metal outfit reminiscent of Rammstein, Marilyn Manson or Type O Negative. This 4 piece outfit presents some very dark haunting music and lyrics. With influences like they've got, that's a given. The music itself is actually tough to place -- but has a very 60s vibe with a modernized guitar and rhythm sound that just wasn't possible with the electronics of 1968.

"Angelyn" from their Darker Than Silence album, really shows a vocal influence from Type O with a more haunting rhythm. "Arrow" from Razor Burn combines the musical influences of Manson and Rammstein into a potential concert anthem that is sure to get the audience jumping and releasing whatever is troubling them. "My WOrld" off of Roadside Heretics is a departure that focuses on the vocalists emotions, with a very unopposing acoustic accompaniment. The EPK is rounded out by "Eve" off of their Sacrificial Etchings CD. This song has a very sad overall feel to it.

Overall their EPK portrays a very emotional lyricist fronting a band that adds to the emotional release of what they're doing. The band has been together and releasing albums for over 10 years. Their EPK is a cross section of their entire music life together. If you're a fan of any of their influences, you should most definitely check out their EPK and find out more about them, I definitely enjoyed this journey down the darker path. Music is the outlet that is needed by a lot of people and they struck a chord with me with where I am in both my life and my mind right now.

========================= - James Rushmore (March 2007)


Discography

Tales of Absolution & Obsoletion - 2009
Razor Burn - 2006
Darker Than Silence - 2004
Roadside Heretics - 2002
Sacrificial Etchings (greatest hits) - 2002
The Fountain - 2001
The Fourth Seal of Zeen - 2000
Ethereal Menace - 1999
Request - 1998
Risen - 1997

COMPILATION CD's:
HM Mag - various Compilations CD's
Cleopatra - “Unquiet Grave”
COP International - “Dark Awakening”
Cold Fusion - “Moonlight Cathedral”
Gresham - “Orgazmatrax2 ”
Alter Ego - "Orgazmatrax3"
Gresham - "The Doors Nightclub"

Photos

Bio

The Awakening is an alternative/gothic rock band from Johannesburg, South Africa, formed in 1995 by vocalist, guitarist and producer Ashton Nyte. The band is credited in the press as "South Africa's most successful Gothic Rock act and one of the top bands in the far broader Alternative scene." The band has released 8 full-length studio albums, 1 greatest hits album, music videos (aired on MTV Europe) and 2 EPs, and have received significant radio play and club rotation throughout South Africa, Europe and the USA. They became the first gothic rock band to ever headline major national festivals throughout South Africa, playing to crowds of some 30,000 in their home country. As of 2008 the band is based in the United States.
See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Awakening_(band)