INTRODUCING…: Awake In Sleep
There is something about the enveloping atmosphere for a post-metal album that fills me with a myriad of emotions, and has more of a potent effect on me than most other genres of music. The lengthy dirge-like tracks mixing calming guitar melodies and crushing heaviness, either with vocals or sans, has resulted in some of the most powerful genres and albums that metal has witnessed. Channeling the likes of such stalwarts as Cult Of Luna and Isis, French quintet Awake In Sleep are putting their own little spin on the tradition, working in more surprising influences which take a while to sink in, but when they do become another enjoyable element in their self-titled début EP.
Those who are familiar with the highlighted influences will know the drill already when the first track “A Place To Die” kicks in, but then some post-hardcore *shels-inspired cleans (albeit with discernible lyrics) will emerge and add a touch of eloquence to the heaviness, and then later on a riff that sounds not unlike “The Beautiful People” starts a whole alt-rock feel that then shifts back into more recognizable territory before the conclusion. The other three tracks have their own similar quirks, such as “Cold Waves” neurotically switching between light and dark parts, an electro soundscape and some pop-punk guitar in “A Shrine For The Sleepless” and the strong crescendo in closer “Flowing Seasons” which echoes God Is An Astronaut somewhat.
Awake In Sleep is one of the more interesting post-metal releases I’ve heard in my recent re-discovery of the genre, and it comes recommended to those who are looking for something new among the clones of Isis and Neurosis. They certainly have elements of the greats of post-metal in their music, but enough of a twist for them to have a firm standing point, and even a springboard for the eventual full-length release. For now, though, pay what you will for the EP on their Bandcamp, and give them a like on Facebook/check them out on MySpace. The EP is also available for streaming below.