After two EP’s that found a good level of praise within the Post-Hardcore scene and four singles with over 500,000 streams between them on Spotify alone, Awake The Dreamer are about to release their anticipated debut album entitled Damaged Souls. The Swedish metal quintet will release the album via Arising Empire.
Starting the album is the title track, Damaged Souls, which successfully sets up the tone of the entire album. Within moments of the song starting, listeners know exactly what to expect. With melodic yet incredibly filthy riffs, groovy bass and drums that help push the track towards the finish line and fantastic a vocal performance, it’s a great opening track to show exactly what Awake The Dreamer are about. Track 2, Atmosphere, is one of the albums four singles and follows a similar style but ramps the aggression up to 11 with some great breakdowns and a guest feature from Ryo Kinoshita of Crystal lake.
Track 3, Far Away, is one of, the lighter tracks, with an emphasis on clean vocals and shout screams and a more melodic approach in the guitarwork. Believe brings the aggression back, with heavy melodic breakdowns and the addition of gang-chant lyrics in the chorus make it a track I imagine would be a fan favourite live.
Blood Red Fistis the heaviest track on the album, with guitarwork that is incredibly reminiscent of Djent thanks to the technicality of the breakdowns, while also having a Nu-Metal feeling vocal performance. Track 6, Lunar, is my personal favourite off the entire album, partially thanks to how similar it sounds to TesseracT due to its complex drumming and more technical instrumental work overall while also having hints of Northlane thrown in for good measure.
The next two tracks of the album, Your Mind andLiberation, didn’t really stand out due to being just more of what came before. While I could say the same about track 9 Vigilant, thanks to a strong guest appearance from Adept’s Robert Ljung helps make it stand out a little more. Finally, the last track of the album, Negative Filtersis a much softer track with the emphasis on melody over aggression and fits being the closing song perfectly.
All in all, Damaged Souls is a great debut album, it ticks most if not all the boxes of what fans of the genre have come to expect from a Post-Hardcore album. Something to note though, is that if you want to hear an album that will shake the very core of the genre this isn’t it. Despite this, Damaged Souls is a great debut album that can easily stand toe to toe with genre peers and I can recommend the release to fans of the genre without hesitation.
1. Damaged Souls 0:34
2. Atmosphere (feat. Ryo Kinoshita) 4:213. Far Away 3:03
4. Believe 3:47
5. Blood Red Fists 3:26
6. Lunar 3:25
7. Your Mind 3:24
8. Liberation 4:10
9. Vigilant (feat. Robert Ljung) 3:10
10. Negative Filters 3:45