Onward - Reawaken
Century Media
Melodic Power Metal
10 songs (54'49)
Release year: 2002
Century Media
Reviewed by Mike

Reawaken consists of 10 tracks of standard power metal. Not that this is a poorly done album, but I’m afraid it may just be a little bit too standard to gain significant attention in the ever growing genre of melodic power metal. After listening to this CD, I am not at all disappointed, but I can’t say this is a standout album either.

Starting on a positive note, the guitar solos are quite plentiful and full of character. In fact, the track In Due Time stands out simply for both the quantity and quality of the solos. If you like interesting, but not overly dominating guitar solos, you will not be disappointed here. My next praise will be the percussion. Double bass used generously and a very tight overall sound keeps the pace constantly on high.

Now, I need to comment on the vocals. I find throughout the disc that Michael Grant is much too conservative in his delivery. His vocals fit the music well - clean power metal vocals. I simply find that he sounds exactly same on each track and his voice doesn’t have much emotion to it - very monotone. There are no instances of soaring high notes or variations at all. After the first nine tracks it gets a little tired. He is always in key keeps with the tempo quite nicely, but I’d really like to see him to add some more emotion and variation to his delivery to keep things interesting. With the well above average guitar work and rhythm section, I feel that improvement in the vocal department will save the band from being labeled as just another power metal band.

There are a couple of moments where the band separates themselves from the pack with a sound of their own. The track The Seven Tides of Labyrinthine is a mid paced tune which features nice keyboard textures to give the song a mystical atmosphere. The final track The Next Triumph is broken into two parts, Rememberance and Reawakening. The first half of this tune is slower with some nice keyboard work, a faint flute in the background, and finally some dynamic vocals! The slower tempo gives Michael Grant an opportunity to sing with emotion and he does a damn good job. These two specific tracks really show the band reaching out a bit for their own identity, which is encouraging. Hopefully their third album will see the band further explore their own sound.

In the end, this is an average, to slightly above average melodic power metal album. The guitar solos are awesome, but I feel the major need for improvement are in the vocals. You have to wait until the final track to hear some variation in the vocals, but it is obvious this guy has talent. If he can mix things up a bit on the next album with some variation from song to song, their third album could be their breakthrough. He certainly has excellent musicians backing him up.

Killing Songs :
The Next Triumph, The Seven Tides of Labyrinthine, In Due Time
Mike quoted 77 / 100
Chris quoted 57 / 100
Other albums by Onward that we have reviewed:
Onward - The Neverending Sun reviewed by Crims and quoted 82 / 100
Onward - Evermoving reviewed by Danny and quoted 68 / 100
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