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P.A.W.N. - The Gift Of Awareness CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.48 | 25 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This the debut album of the this German band who originally formed in 2002. They've had a few line-up changes over the years but now consist of the duo of Dennis Matzat (drums, percussion) and Sebastian Rudolph (keyboards, guitars, vocals, iPad). On this album they have a few guest musicians including a female vocalist and a former, recently deceased member appears on one song. The duo play nearly everything and the sound and production is well done. The vocals are in English while the music itself could be described as a mix of prog metal, symphonic metal and symphonic prog.

"Sailors Of The Sky" opens the album with some beautiful yet melancholy piano. Later gets more symphonic rock sounding and then more standard prog metal. Female vocals arrive which are never needlessly over the top - they add rather than take away from the music. There is what sounds like violin throughout the album although not being listed in the credits I'm not sure if it is the real deal or imitated on a synth. The track goes into a more traditional prog metal vibe later on before the vocal part returns. Goes into a prog metal version of the opening part. "The Princess Is Out Tonight" is a great catchy piece. Opens more traditional symphonic prog metal before mellowing out a bit with some male vocals. Catchy chorus with alternating male and female vocals. Some very metal drumming towards the end. Great track.

"A Voyage Of Uncertainty" begins very moody and cinematic sounding before some piano lays the foundation. The main song itself is basically some sort of sea shanty (going along with the song's theme of a shipwreck). Alternates between the male sung sea shanty and a female sung symphonic part. Halfway through gets more symphonic prog metal sounding. The playing gets rather intricate at times here. Sounds like some sitar at one point. "Vessels" is the only track to feature recently deceased member Daniel Müller-Ramien on guitar and backup vocals. Overall it is a fairly straight-forward easy going song compared to the rest of the album.

"Fatal Wounds" starts off interesting with some counterpoint violin playing. I like some of the synth sounds in this track. Both male and female vocals here. Nice buildup in the middle. The chorus part gets more mellow later on. Very symphonic metal sounding at the end. At the end of the album we get the 26 minute title track. A highlight of the album for sure. Nice melodies on keyboards and violin(?) to begin. I like the playful rhythm they get into after 2 minutes. The first vocal part with male and female vocals is fairly straight-forward prog metal stuff. Some mellotron like sounds at one point.

Nice synth sounds after the second vocal part followed by some synth soloing. The epic changes to different sections frequently. Love the synth(?) bass sound after 10 minutes. There is one vocal section which is reprised. More instrumental goodness in the middle including some vaguely Middle-Eastern sounding melodies. A very 'chiptune' sounding synth at one point. Hell, we even get some Baroque! Just female vocals and counterpoint violin playing at one point. The epic just sort of fades away rather than end with a big bang. For fans of symphonic rock and prog metal who like female vocals. Enough diversity and variation in the music to not be *just* 'prog metal'. Generally very consistent and well played and the sound and production is top-notch. I will give this a 3.5 but round it up to 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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