Karnivool
Sound Awake


4.5
superb

Review

by UnnamedOcean USER (19 Reviews)
January 17th, 2010 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: As an introduction to Karnivool, this album has won me over with its hard, dense rhythms and raw sound. The album feels very polished, and goes in a million directions while still keeping together.

Sound Awake was truly my first notable experience in hearing Karnivool. Before Sound Awake, I had heard a couple of tunes from their first album, Themata, and I was very impressed. I remember Fear of the Sky ending up one of my favorite hard rock songs for a while. After buying the album, I popped it into my computer, expecting to hear more of the same excellence they had crafted before. What I heard frankly amazed me. The album began with buzzing static before a dense rhythm entered on full blast, reminding me somewhat of a few songs by The Mars Volta. It was immediately apparent to me that Karnivool had taken a much more progressive direction, one that I feel paid off in the end.

Sound Awake is a very hard album to categorize in the fact that it takes a million different directions at once, yet all seems to still follow the same, unified path. Every song is very solidly written, and each has both catchy choruses and completely unique sections of avant garde in between. Karnivool really develop a unique sound here, mixing in alternative/metal influences with complex, progressive rock. The album feels very raw and off the hook, yet still amazingly together and polished.

I think it would be impossible for me to pick any favorites from this album, because every track is so special in its own way. Each has its own unique elements, and yet does not drift too far away as to blend in with the rest of the songs into one concrete idea. Although I can't pick any favorites, Illumine and Umbra stick out for me, the former having a wonderful melody to it, and the latter giving the feeling of angst, frustration and aggression, which ironically is just what the band wanted - they wrote the song while out of their comfort zone, in uncomfortable writing situations, which they wanted to be felt.

The album progresses well throughout, and eventually reaches the final two numbers (Deadman and Change), both of which exceed ten minutes in length. it is here which every aspect of the band can be set forth, wild and rampant. These two tracks are an excellent, and epic way to end such a great album; Deadman even features a reworking of Change (Part One) from Themata, a special treat to attentive fans.

As an introduction to Karnivool, this album set the bar high for me, and I am very curious to see how the future looks for the band. Their sound is raw and tense, and their ideas fly off in all directions while still maintaining the same feel throughout.



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user ratings (1574)
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Julianna Reed EMERITUS (4)
    Karnivool has once again proven success with the latest installment of their musical catal...

    Jack Mancuso CONTRIBUTOR (4.5)
    From the xylophone tinkering that opens "Simple Boy" to the final charging drumbeat of "Ch...

    Vooligan (4.5)
    Epic, in every sense of the word. 'Sound Awake' cements Karnivool at the top of the Austra...

    zuzek (4)
    Genius comes in all forms, sometimes with a blemish or two....

  • PistolPete (4.5)
    I don't want this to end, I don't want this to end....

    spirals0810 (5)
    Karnivool's second full-length offering is an altogether uplifting, emotional adventure th...

    LocustGrove (5)
    An outstanding release by a very underrated band....

    Nick Mongiardo (5)
    Wide awake and still asleep......



Comments:Add a Comment 
MassiveAttack
January 18th 2010


2754 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Is this better than Themata, someone recommended it to me wasn't all it was cracked up to be =(

Captain North
January 18th 2010


6793 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Themata is shit loads better. I'm tempted to drop this down to a 3.5

MassiveAttack
January 18th 2010


2754 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Guess I just don't really feel connected with this band then. One of those few groups where the majority of people like them, guess I don't - as much.

Captain North
January 18th 2010


6793 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well I think I'm in the minority with liking Themata better, so there is that.

Douglas
January 18th 2010


9298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

No way this is much better, Themata is very front loaded with it's songs. Though glows so well.

Douchebag
January 18th 2010


3626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is near impossible to listen to in one sitting, but is probably the "better" album. I'm fairly new to Karnivool though...

EVedder27
January 18th 2010


6088 Comments


I like this a lot better than Themata. New Day and All I Know are just amazing.

Vooligan
January 18th 2010


3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is better, a lot better.



Bah Croc, its quite easy to listen to in one go.

Douchebag
January 18th 2010


3626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

New Day is mindblowing.

Captain North
January 18th 2010


6793 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Officially lowered a rating.

Vooligan
January 18th 2010


3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Boo-urns

Jim
January 18th 2010


5110 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i was saying boo-urns

Vooligan
January 18th 2010


3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Boo Burns?

BrahTheSunGod
January 18th 2010


1280 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

So is it weird of me to say that this is like Porcupine Tree minus the occasional boring bits?

TheyTookOurJobs
January 18th 2010


1318 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good review!

ian kenny sorta reminds me of maynard james keenan............

CrackTheSkye
January 18th 2010


726 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

These guys were so good yesterday! Easily top 3 bands I saw yesterday.

BrahTheSunGod
January 18th 2010


1280 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

...rub it in... haha.

CrackTheSkye
January 18th 2010


726 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha sorry, man.



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