Lithuanian metal band Awakening Sun has been working on perfecting their craft for quite a few years now. Recently they took one step closer to the goal of finding their identity and signature sound by releasing album number 3 ‘Into The Light‘. They must have had some struggles along the way or have been really picking at their material to get it absolutely perfect, since some of the tracks were already released with a video almost 3 years go. Backed by Dutch drummer Kev (Sisters of Suffocation) they’re finally ready to take on the world. So let’s check it out, shall we?
They come in straight with a bang and they show you they mean business. Their formula seems relatively simple at first glance (listen): damn groovy, harsh and fast metal! Bands like Soilwork, Lamb Of God or Devildriver easily come to mind with opener Shout It Out Loud. Which is also a track I can imagine be a real hard hitter live. Headbanging is almost immediately induced and the song is so damn catchy and groovy that it really pulls you in by the hairs. Scars very much continues the infectious blend of groove, thrash, (melo)death and even here and there a touch of metalcore with tactfully placed breakdowns.
Overall, after hearing these first 2 tracks, the sound and guitar riffs are simply very pleasing and loveable. This is harsh music that might make a metalhead feel all giddy on the inside! A trick that also always seems to work, is the guitars falling into the background for a few seconds to let the drums jump to the front before the rest of the instruments kick back in, seemingly harder than before. This is “smart” music. It’s actually often pretty technical, but with all the groove and some tricks it’s at the same time very accessible for the metalhead who just likes to bang his/her head like there’s no tomorrow!
The Butterfly Effect is another track that immediately kicks off at high speed with grinding guitar riffs and pounding drums. In a quote I read that they envision this track to invoke massive circle pits like you can see at Devildriver gigs for instance and I don’t think they’re far off, this is a speedy track full of anger that will crush live! Another thing I noticed, is the use of guitar solos that aren’t over the top, but fit perfectly in between all the violence. Here and there they also dare to add something that takes them some steps away from their normal sound with for instance more clean vocals near the end in The Butterfly Effect or the intro of Alive that somehow makes me think of Tool. Makes for just enough variation on this release to stay invested.
With Bloodthirst they serve another absolutely crushing track as could be expected looking at the title, maybe this time with a higher ratio of death metal infused. Despair, Drowning and album closer Desire are then on the other hand tracks that bring in a quite big (welcome) change: the majority features clean vocals that completely embody desperation and melancholy seeping through from all sides. Also the music slows down most of the time to every now and then pick the pace back up again. A really interesting track that shows off even more of their capacity to write some very melodic music that doesn’t always have to tear the place up.
Conclusion: Into The Light is a very strong effort from Awakening Sun. It has that blend of different genres with a couple of personal touches that easily keeps me invested in an album. They didn’t reinvent the wheel here, but deliver a damn solid metal record that will speak to many metalheads with its infectious groove laced throughout.
FFO: Soilwork, Lamb Of God, Devildriver
Tracks to check out: The Butterfly Effect, Alive, Drowning
Release date: March 5th, 2019
1. Shout It Out Loud
3. The Butterfly Effect
8. The Voice Inside
9. Void Silence