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Awakening Sun is a death metal band that originates from the Baltic lands of Lithuania. A fresh band to the heavy metal scene, consisting of four members fronted by Ernestas Skripkunas, the main composer and vocalist of the group. Although without any prior demo releases, the band steps in bold, releasing a straight full length album titled Sold Out. The album contains 10 tracks and joins many forms of death metal (groove, melodic, brutal and technical), with some thrash elements as well. These are the first impressions you get, but once you step in to the gist of the music, you might be there for a good surprise.
The music you will hear here is melodic death metal with a fusion of technical, groove and thrash, like I mentioned earlier. However, if you think this is any closer to the mainstream ''melodic death metal bands'' that use a lot of keyboards and clean vocals, then you might be wrong, probably in the wrong place as well (if that's what you are looking for). This album is a blow from hell and requires good ears to listen and tolerate such heavily structured music. Personally, when I first heard this album, few bands came right to my mind. In this stance I would include the Danish acts of Illdisposed, Autumn Leaves, early Mercenary, and the Swedish Anata for a fair comparison.
The song writing of this album is solid, to a stretch that made me wonder if this is their first effort. Every member in this group has its own distinct touch that elevated the quality of this release to a professional level. The vocals here are massive and furious, characterized by impressive growls and deep toned voice. I also like this thrashy feeling of Ernestas' tone, something that makes these slamming growls quite unique in a way. Some of the highlights of his show can be enjoyed in the tracks Brutal War and Under Control. The chorus of the track Own Master is damn majestic, you will most probably like to burst your sick feelings and repeat after him in a very loud voice. The guitarist here makes this prominent effort adjusting the ruthless growls of Ernestas and delivering great memorable riffs in almost every song of the album. The riffs create this dark barbarous feeling and orientate the sound pretty well. The opening riff in the track Own Master feels exotic, well thought and crafted. There are also some great solos to mention here, like in the opening track and near the end of the track No More Blood. The bass lines blend in well with the guitar riffs and turn the sound heavier and intense. The drums sound good, our drummer introduces remarkable patterns throughout the album. The double bass work in Brutal War was completely amazing. The percussion was kind of impressive as well.
This album in my book is a real success for good reasons. The solid musicianship and the collective effort of the band members made this release stand-out. A last thing to mention is the quality of the product. The sound is clear and you can feel there was a good investment of time and money. That’s what altered this debut and brought it to a professional level. I would highly recommend this release for any fan of Death Metal. This was surprisingly good and I’m looking forward to hear more from these guys in the future.
Standouts for your pleasure: Brutal War, Own Master, Blind Sheep, Whirl of Death.
Written for Encyclopaedia Metallum 21-04-2012