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The Awakening - Chasm (2018) - Review

Band: The Awakening
Album title: Chasm
Release date: 26 November 2018
Label: Intervention Arts

01. Other Ghosts
02. Shore
03. About You
04. Raphael Awake
05. Back To Wonderland
06. Gave up the Ghost
07. Savage Freedom
08. A Minor Incision
09. Hear Me
10. Shadows In The Dark

The iconic South African now in USA based band The Awakening finally returns with a new album! Their last proper full-length was in 2009 released Tales Of Absolution + Obsoletion, if we don't consider it as such in 2013 released Anthology XV, which was a compilation of their most significant, especially for that release reworked tracks, plus two new tracks, after that... silence, even though that the mastermind and founder of The Awakening, Ashton Nyte, announced the album number nine long ago. It's true that the romantic deep dark voice of Ashton wasn't missed in the meantime, he took part of the amazing MGT (Peter Murphy, The Mission) as well to Michael Ciravolo’s Beauty In Chaos project, which features members of The Cure, The Mission, Ministry and many more, as well Ashton released various solo albums.

Chasm represents everything that The Awakening really is, but to be truthful it's somehow deeper, more romantic, more elaborated, smooth and emotive album than anything this act did before. Of course that the main thing here is Ashton's incredible voice that must give goosebumps to every just a bit dark romantic soul, but as well the throughout captivating music, that sometimes is on a thin line between being overly sweet and dark enough, is tantalizing gothic rock, moderately modern, well composed and rather eclectic, but nevertheless, it's in the first place "poetry for the broken-hearted" who dance in the shadows.
Lyrically the album deals with themes such as isolation, loss, the state of the world and a myriad of sorrowful things that emphasize Ashton's creativity and his view as an artist. Chasm consists of 10 quite diverse songs, from some romantic darkwave ballads that will satisfy also fans of HIM for example, to upbeat goth drivers, alternative dark rock pieces, to heavier metallic, dramatic and also deeply atmospheric songs. There are plenty of extremely catchy melodies and refrains, haunting moments, like for example is the fascinating mournful opener "Other Ghosts". Many songs get easily under your skin, like is the 12 string acoustic ballad "Gave Up The Ghost", deep sorrowful romanticism named "About You" or "Hear Me", not to mention the vibrating and strong "Raphael Awake", the fantastic gothic rock/metal darkness named "Savage Freedom" with an mesmerizing rather typical gothic rock riffing, or the diverse ambiental like soundtrack sounding "A Minor Incision" which smoothly transforms into some kind of a goth/punkish upbeat brawl, actually every piece has that needed thing and big dose of melancholy that will engulf the listener into its profound flow.

Chasm is nothing overly excesive, it also doesn't offer anything especially new, but as well it's not that typical 80s oriented goth, sometimes I see The Awakening as a link between The Sisters Of Mercy, HIM, Type O Negative and The Mission, with added their own gear. Every single instrument plays it's part with perfection, just make attention to amazing gloomy keys, guitars,... but nevertheless, it's Ashton voice that will guide you through the album in the first place. Good songwriting, solid performance and perfect production alongside with a lot of depth are guarantees for an enthusing gothic rock experience that will for sure satisfy all those who loved The Awakening in the past, but as well it has enough of potential to bring in some new fans.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 8,5/10