Monday, May 12, 2014

Never Awake-Underground


When it comes to potential (album) submissions to our site there are some bands that will hit you up once and then wait on a potential follow-up response and then there are bands like Never Awake who are diligent, making sure that their voice is heard loud and clear! Site-founder Metal Mark, having received two separate e-mails over the course of four days from two of Never Awake's bandmasters (first by drummer Alex McDonald and then by guitarist/keyboardist Matt Galligan), was kind enough to forward both (album submission) e-mails to me and I must say that I was highly impressed with this Portland, Oregon-based four-piece and their thoroughness as far as sending follow-up e-mails. But, I do have to question why a band like this, which (incidentally) was formed back in 2011 and is rounded out by lead singer extraordinaire, Taylor Dye, and bass guitarist Jesse Weiss (the final addition of Never Awake after the band went through a revolving door of bass players!), has to work so hard to get noticed? The thing is Never Awake, who also have a 2012 self-titled EP to their name and have shared the stage with similarly-minded acts such as Fate's Warning (as well as legendary guitarist Uli Jon Roth and the Michael Schenker Group!), should be more well-known just based upon their skilled nature. Especially if we're talking about the progressive metal scene where a band like this one should be on every metalhead's lips! On their full-length debut album these Portland-based skilled musicians take their influences (Led Zeppelin, Dream Theater, Opeth, Porcupine Tree,etc.) and with a few twists and turns (read: technical wizardly and fine-tuned songwriting!) light a fire to the scene while invoking flashes of everyone from "Master Of Puppets"-era Metallica to Symphony X! Of course those influences do come into play (Dream Theater) and the previously mentioned Fate's Warning has obviously been vacuumed up and sprinkled over Matt Galligan's guitar, but on the whole it's impressive just how original this lot sounds even at this early junction in their career! Guitars, like weapons, attack the listener while the rhythm section exposes the flaws in far too many similarly-styled acts (few (new) progressive rock and metal bands that I've heard lately have as tight of a rhythm section in place as Never Awake!). And that vocalist? As hinted he's in top shape here on "Underground" and his voice, as sincere as it is forceful, instantaneously throws a spotlight on the limitless potential of Never Awake! This band has all the tools at it's disposal to rapidly clime to the top tiers of the progressive metal mountain. All they need is for the right person to take notice. Somewhere out there is right PR whose been waiting for an act like this one to fall into their laps. If that description fit me in the least I'd have signed Never Awake in the time it took to complete this review! Needless to say this CD comes with my highest recommendation! Be sure to keep an eye out for Never Awake ( my friends as this is one progressive metal band that has HUGE written all over them!!!!

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