Review Summary: Lays the breakdowns on thick and the technicality light, this is nothing more than a poor excuse for a progressive metalcore release.
The word progressive tends to be thrown around too lightly in a bulk of the metalcore genre. Every band feels the need to throw the word in their description when, in all honesty, there is nothing that is actually progressing. Awake the Agony is a “progressive” metalcore group based out of Trieste, Italy. Stumbling upon them on some random blogspot, I felt the need to try it out just on a hunch that it was going to be half decent. Turns out this wasn't really all that great, nor was it progressive, but the bands debut EP Dual Reality
lays the breakdowns thick and the technicality light, in what I like to sum up as a half ass excuse for a progressive metal core release. Did you expect differently?
Take this bands method of breaking down for an example, starting at the last thirty seconds of the first track all the way until the second to last track, we are just forced upon this bands lack of variety. Each and every single time a breakdown occurs, which is just a lot, it seems to be the same exact rhythm and speed. Once or twice does this band slow down their tempo enough for you to notice, and if you’re lucky enough you might be able to spot a mini riff during the middle of one of these sections, but all of it is just the same. Finding a bit of mentionable guitar and drum lines here is a chore, and while it improves the slightest bit in the EP’s third track, ’Horizon of Events’, it just doesn’t do this band or release any true amount of justice.
One of the better elements this band has to bring forward is their vocalist, who sports a generic two toned death core style of screaming. He has his really low and hollow growls that he switches up with the grainy and harsh higher vocals. These tones fit the sound perfectly, but throughout the listen there’s just no variety that he offers up. He’s always doing one tone or the other, never using any sort of mid scream or an ever higher or lower tone just to keep things mixed up through the 4 songs he’s actually in. The production doesn’t lend him any helping hands at all, there’s quite a few moments when the instrumental volume will cover the vocals enough to make them incomprehensible. The overall raw quality of the sound here though actually does a bit of good, the grain in the guitars doesn’t sound too bad and the drums sound pretty clear. If we could actually hear the bass than maybe we could find out exactly what that’s doing, but not on a single moment do we become focused on him.
I feel like there is no other way to really express my feelings for what Awake the Agony has done here with their debut. If they’re out too impress than there is a mile high list of things they need to improve on, the same could be said to even keep this band around in your music library. Too much of what we don’t want to hear and too little of what I wanted to hear, nothing here catches the ear like it should. As said before, this is just another one of those bands that feel the word “progressive” can help out their ability to impress us as listeners, but Dual Reality
is nothing more than an experiment in simplicity and metalcore cliché.