Release Date: June 5, 2009
I first came across Karnivool when I was searching for Australian rock bands (don't ask) to listen to. After discovering their first album, Themata, on Amazon, I become enthralled with them. Though listed as an alternative/progressive band, I find it hard to really classify this five-piece after the release of Sound Awake. They have progressed so much since their freshman album, especially in the realm of production quality. Though it clocks in at just over an hour, Sound Awake is very well put together. Good production is often overlooked by the masses and can make a good band great or a mediocre band awful.
The entire band has grown as a whole, from Ian Kenny's vocals to Drew Goddard's exceptional guitar work. The soundscape Karnivool creates is incredible. With Sound Awake, it took me a few listens to really get into the album, but once I did I couldn't stop playing the tracks. Over and over and over again.
"All I Know" and "New Day" are near perfect renditions that will cause
you to forget they clock in at a staggering 14 minutes combined.
The only thing missing in Sound Awake is the tension and build up from Themata. Both albums have succeeded in constructing an environment of music around the listener, but only Themata was able to add that extra pinch of emotion to put it over the top. Don't get me wrong, Sound Awake drops your ears into something they'll never thank you enough for, just not a perfect as it could be.