Out of tragedy and turmoil, Awaken I Am have released a collection of emotion-filled tracks that are at once beautiful and yet filled with anger, confusion, and heaviness.
Australian band Awaken I Am have gone through the typical band member replacement drama but also have had to endure the worst, when a wrong-way driver took the life of guitarist Connor Verner-Oakley. The band had just finished a US tour in support of their debut album Blind Love and were due out on the road in less than two weeks. The band picked up guitarist Jay Sibthorpe and pushed on. The ep The Beauty in Tragedy is the band’s way of not only paying tribute to Connor but also coming to terms with the senseless nature of the tragedy. Taylor Larsen (Asking Alexandria and The Word Alive) recorded the ep.
The ep opens up with one of the heaviest tracks in “Kin”. Start off with some electronica and then bring in the heavy guitar riffs and once those die out the keyboards and bass largely keep things moving along during the verse sections backed by some drum work from Luke McKenzie that adds some interesting texture. Vocals are incredibly smooth and emotion-filled and to be honest, from a composition standpoint, the song reminds me a bit of something from Linkin Park but with a bit more emphasis on melody and heavier guitars. Topically the song is addressed to the driver who purposefully drove on the wrong side of the road, so you can imagine the emotion involved. Not being a fan of this style of music, the emotion in the performances drew me in before I even knew the back story. This is one of those albums you listen to and think to yourself that there is something authentic here and it keeps your interest.