EP Review: Awaken I Am - Beauty In The Tragedy
AWAKEN I AM
Beauty In The Tragedy
2017's Blind Love was a monumental moment for Awaken I Am as it was their first album released with Victory Records. However, it also proved to be a turning point for the band as they were forced to hit the restart button when founding member/lead singer Adam Douglas left the band shortly after its release, and then they were met with tragedy when guitarist Connor Verner-Oakley had his life cut short by an intentionally reckless driver. With Jimmy Stevenson now on leads and longtime friend Jay Sibthorpe on guitar, the band has taken all that they’ve been through and given us Beauty In The Tragedy – an EP that could very well be their big breakthrough. Aside from “Dissolution,” the centerpiece of the EP and the final track the group recorded with Connor, carrying a bit of an understandably different feel than the other 4, the remainder of the EP feels raw and fueled by the confusing emotions the band has experienced; and are still experiencing. “Does it keep you up?” Stevenson angrily asks on the guitar driven opener “Kin,” which continues to point a crystal-clear finger at the driver who took Verner-Oakley’s life, whereas “Indifferent” and “The Stages of Grief” both explore the emotions that come with dealing with difficulties that life presents and trying to find a way to understand them and somehow work through them. The layered vocals, emotionally charged lyrics, synth laced backgrounds, and driving guitars, all work together throughout the EP to give Awaken I Am one of the most honest releases I have heard in a good while. The group pulled from all their different, confusing emotions and used their music as a therapy session to help them work through them, while allowing us, the listeners, the opportunity to sit in on the sessions with them.