There's a melancholy current, even a dark moodiness, running through Awake's second album Forever More. You can hear it in the inherent heaviness that permeates most every song, and in Simon Shedwell's vocals. Likely, all this is from the band's lyrical content which speaks to love and loss. Certainly, a song like Taken is definitive of this theme. The somber beginning of vocals over acoustic guitar leads to an equally deep feeling of melancholy, even as the pace and pitch of the arrangement rises. This musical script is only embellished more by the following Closing the Doors. Here vocals over piano and a bit of synth press the pensiveness even more.
But Forever More is not without some invigorating moments of entertaining progressive metal. Bleed From You, One Wish, and Forever More are as much adventurous even while they harbor an inner and deliberate sadness. Bleed From You is actually quite lively at times, considering what you might infer from the title. It's a definitive track. The later Forever More develops into quite melodic prog, even catchy at times. These two songs speak to Awake's strength of conveying both lyric and their feelings through music. At times it reminds of Evergrey composing with Dream Theater after both experiencing a devastating family loss.
Being pensive and somber in tone Forever More may be a challenge to some, no matter how great their love for traditional progressive metal. Nevertheless, the listeners who wade into the deep melancholy of Awake's opus will be richly rewarded. Recommended.
Listeners willing to wade into the deep melancholy of Awake's Forever More will be rewarded with some fine progressive metal.
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