DEAD AWAKEN (Sweden) “Where Hope Turns Dripping Red” CD review by

DEAD AWAKEN (Sweden) “Where Hope Turns Dripping Red” CD review by

By Dorothy Cheng

Every once in a while there comes along a record that isn’t exactly a star in the field of innovation, but is so musically tight that it is impossible not to love. Swedish Death Metal usually has a penchant for being technically superior, and another one of its exports, DEAD AWAKEN, have proven this yet again with an album full of outstanding riffs and, kick ass complementary bass lines and stylistically appropriate and technically excellent drumming.

With their new album Where Hope Turns Dripping Red, DEAD AWAKEN are out to prove that they are a force to be reckoned with. In addition to all the praise on the instrumental side I have offered, the album also features some of the most effective vocal work I’ve ever heard. Vocalist Jorgen Kristensen is blessed with a natural full, deep tone, and he uses it to great effect by smearing it over the tight, crunching, destructive music – delivering the optimum Death Metal package. There are slower, more chugging songs such as “Rocket Symphony” that despite the slower speed, keep up with the other songs in terms of brutality and heaviness. It really goes to show the mark of the band’s talent and what a good fit they are with their genre. Some bands despite possessing talent don’t appear to have found their match in their chosen subgenres, but DEAD AWAKEN appears to have it spot on. They are definitely born for this.

The thing I loved most about the album though was how loud the bass was, even as it was matched up against relentless double bass drumming and heavy palm-muted riffing. Each song is also packed full with bombast and mercilessly bombards the listener with intense musical ballistics – but not without rhythm and groove. The band is so firmly rooted in rhythm that it has that perfect stalwart headbangable beat in every single line of the song. “Mudhell” even has a nice little solo stashed at the end, and everyone knows hearing solos in traditional Death Metal albums is like finding a marshmallow in your cereal. The sustain and control prowess of Kristensen was evident in the solo, marking him as both a talented instrumentalist as well as a vocalist.

Of course, the tracks are rather short, but this is unquestionably ideal, as longer tracks would surely have made the entire album repetitive and even boring. With some great breakdowns dotted here and there in selected tracks, the band really delivers a true Death Metal experience to listeners and reminds us all what old school is really being about: stick true to your roots and do it excellently.

I would definitely consider “Where Hope Turns Dripping Red” to be one of the more superior Death Metal albums I have heard this year. DEAD AWAKEN is one of the rare bands that will not compromise quality for gimmicks, and it has definitely paid off for them.

Rating: 8/10

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