Karnivool :: Sound Awake

Written by on May 13, 2010 in May 13, 2010, Music Reviews - Comments Off on Karnivool :: Sound Awake

Sin UK

KarnivoolCompared to their earlier album ‘Themata’, their latest release ‘Sound Awake’ takes a couple listens to truly “get it”. What I mean by that is, it’s very deep, atmospheric, and powerful. After the third listen through it’s just truly amazing. The guys have really surpassed their earlier efforts while managing to keep their identity and sound, something many bands struggle with. It’s still heavy in many spaces, but it’s definitely more diverse and dynamic; more three dimensional, if you will. ‘Sound Awake’ is streamlined and controlled, and, although Drew Goddard’s drivingly weird bouts of scattered guitar riffage have been sacrificed somewhat, the spastic “Set Fire to the Hive” gives us a fix of this and Ian Kenny’s flailing vocals both at their best, melded intelligently in a flaming composition. The band’s ability to transition, both among the songs and within them, has progressed impressively, which is considerably more important than it might seem. Although songs like “Goliath and Umbra” still hold traces of their tendency towards questionable key changes, the individual elements of each song have more charisma and flavor than ever and can really rock it like a magikist. Lyrically, ‘Sound Awake’ takes a profoundly scientific and psychological approach to the unfortunately archetypal ‘revolution’ message, ultimately painting singularly idiosyncratic imagery that compels us to forgive even the song title “New Day”. Karnivool have proven themselves to be more than another Chevelle or Tool or something, and the four years they were in production for this was well worth it. With the music industry the way it is today it’s not very often that an artist releases an album that is this polished and has serious classic appeal, however, I believe Karnivool has accomplished that with ‘Sound Awake’ and is one of those albums that I will be listening to for years to come.