Sound Awake review by Karnivool

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  • Released: Jun 5, 2009
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.8 (88 votes)
Karnivool: Sound Awake

Sound — 9
Karnivool is back for their second full length album, which has been highly anticipated. Any fan of Karnivool will surely approve of this album. The sound is edgy and perfectly mixed within the entire album. Drew Goddard really shows his talent on lead guitar, with intricate leads and even more complex riffs. The melodies are happy and mellow, with soothing drum beats to create an even mellower feel. The distortion fits perfectly with the overall sound of the album, not too heavy, and not too light. The delay is used quite much with spot on intervals. The first two tracks, Simple Boy and Goliath, and the opening of the last track, Change, significantly heavier than the rest of the album, with heavier bass and guitar riffs than normal. Xylophones are present on the album, giving a slight more industrial feel mixed in with the progressive attitude. The mixing is superb, with every last detail distinctively present.

Lyrics — 10
Ian Kenny is the stand out on the album, with an overall prefect vocal performance. His falsettos seem to be the voice of an angel singing. Basically, if an angel was ever to sing, it would be Ian Kenny. The Medicine Wears Off seems to be my favorite vocal performance, with soothing falsettos and perfect pitch changes, going from high to low and low to high with such an ease. Few people will get the range Ian Kenny has, and he absolutely goes beyond perfect with it. Simple Boy also has some amazing vocals, as Kenny makes him own melodies that seem to be more recognizable than the actual music.

Overall Impression — 9
The eleven track album entitled Sound Awake is a great album to have in any collection. Even if you are the deathcore listener, or the R&B listener, this album will somehow relate to you. The length of the album may bore the slightest of listeners, with four songs topping in over seven minutes, and two topping in over ten. This should be seen as wondrous, as it shows the talent Karnivool has to have smooth transitions between movements in one song. This is seen perfectly in Change, where it starts out heavy, sooths out, and goes back and forth till the drum solo at the end, which completes the album perfectly. The mastery that is Karnivool has been awakened, and is perfectly shown through this critically acclaimed smash hit!

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

    AXE187 wrote: Couldn't believe this was even the same band. This is worlds better than thematta
    Have to disagree here. As much as I think this record is crazy good, Themata just had some of the damn catchiest songs I've heard.
    Friggin sick album, I felt the UG review was very rushed and really didn't do the album justice, but maybe that's just me.
    loved karnivool but this album dissapoints me. defiantly not as good as themata. but i do like set for to the hive.
    SidewaysMatty wrote: Its good to see that a lot people actually like the new direction Karnivool are taking, but I personally way prefer Themata over this. Not saying this is a bad album. There are some songs I really like, New Day and Change especially, but overall I just couldn't get into it as much as I did Themata, which would be in my top 5 favorite albums ever. Not just because I prefer "mosh-friendly" music, but even the odd moments on Themata that weren't mosh I could get into more than most of Sound Awake. If Karnivool keep taking this direction, I can see myself turning into a "I only like their old stuff" fan.
    themata is definitely a masterpiece in terms of it's blend of accessibility and technicality, but sound awake is such a mind blowing musical acheivement all round. most musicians could only dream of progressing in such a profound and fruitful way over the course of a single album release.
    I am looking forward to what they do in future. Great album but was talking to kenny not long ago and he he was doin another birds album and tour before new karnivool stuff. Might be a while in waiting...
    I'm so damn excited that this has come out in the US! I didn't even know til I saw this review that they had released it in the US. Now I can buy it, man. These guys are so frigging talented. I love it!
    hSn wrote: This album is fantastic, only shame is that all my 90 dollars which i had to pay for this album(import from Aus to USA to Norway + taxes) didn't go directly to the band, because they would deserve that.
    Jesus christ, why would you pay $90 for an hard copy of an album where you could buy the album via digital distribution for around $15? I understand having a hard copy is a lot nicer, but worth $75? I think not.