“Awakening” is proof that their tansformation into a Led Zeppelin-style rock band was as complete as it was swift.
Despite the genre switch, the swagger of frontman Kellen McGugan has not changed, as he still howls and hollers his way through the tunes. The frantic title track is the best example of this, as McGugan alternately preens, roars and whips his voice around. The title track also stands out as a composition, with several distinct parts, tempos and moods. The powerful guitar work, as with everywhere else, drives the song through the changes.
But it’s not all six-string fury; the six-minute “Color of a Tomb” gives a feature to bassist Jonathan Martin. The change-up makes it one of the most memorable on the album, which is saying something: Guitar fanatics of almost any age and preference will find all of “Awakening” admirable. —Stephen Carradini