Album Review: Awakening Sun – Imbalance
Posted by Reggie
I was impressed with the first full-length album from this Lithuanian quartet, now labeled as Lithuanian/Netherlands quartet. Sold Out was a solid album of groovy death metal with a pleasant cadence of brutal beats and rhythms. Six Feet Under meets Amon Amarth comes to mind for a quick comparison. It was enough to keep this band on my radar. When I saw they filmed a video for In The Clouds of Dust, I waited impatiently for the next chapter in Awakening Sun’s evolution. Only, it didn’t come as fast as I had hoped. Based on my cursory research, the band had some lineup issues and mostly all the same shit other new bands go through…time, money, etc. Then, I realized the release of Imbalance passed me by somehow. Only now, this very second, I am tickling my ears with their sophomore effort. As indicated from their bandcamp page, this is the work of mostly one person. Since then, the band has acquired full-time members and they are already working on new material.
Very quickly, I could sense the band’s evolution. There are noticeable differences between 2011’s Sold Out and Imbalance. What was once a very straightforward groove-oriented death metal band has developed some slight progressive elements buried within the blast beats. Instead of just exploding heavy-as-fuck tempos, the new material seems more focused to including subtle intros and melodic, toned-down sections and on at least one occasion some clean signing on Number 5 – a little sample anyway. In contrast, there are plenty of blast beats and tight riffing to counter the newly created harmonies.
There is a difference in the approach from the vocal side of things. Instead of a deep growling that felt in line with many death metal signers (that’s not necessarily a bad thing), there is now more of a chaotic, almost hardcore feel as if he is being stabbed to death while singing – like screaming in pain. It certainly fits a death metal band and surprisingly enables the lyrics to be a little more understandable for those that like to hear words.
Some of the songs that stood out for their sheer brutality and groove-oriented splendor are Ashen Rain, Edgewalking, and Wake Me Up. The album’s nine tracks won’t take up a lot of your time; around 39 minutes and includes the original recording of In The Clouds of Dust as a bonus track. There were some changes from the original single to the final design.
Overall, the band’s evolution is evident. As they discover their identity, it will be interesting to see where they go once they lock in full-time members. For now, Imbalance showcases how their capabilities have grown while delivering a brutal, yet more mature album.
For Fans of: (newer) Sepultura, Entombed, Six Feet Under, Exhumed