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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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Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
3 stars It is interesting to read how P.A.W.N. evolved from a gothic/death metal band to what we hear in this debut - certainly an interesting and drastic "mutation". This is essentially a duo with Matzat and Rudolph sharing the composition, arrangement and production duties. Along come a number of guest musicians and Lisa-Marie Rothe to veil the atmosphere with enchanting vocals. "The Gift of Awareness" is built on the extensive use of melodic pianos, Haken-like heavy guitars and primarily mid-tempos.

But there is a lot going on: classical influences sneak in through the opener and closing track. Gothic tendencies (Tiamat anyone?) appear on the "Princess is Out Tonight". Haggard knock on the door on the "pirate-prog" (in the words of the band), folk music-driven highlight "A Voyage of Uncertainty" where beautiful female vocals meet 70's dreamy keyboards and as the track progresses we fall into the realm of Dream Theater and Ayreon. "Vessels" shows the band's most accessible face, a prog-ballad with melody written all over it; "Fatal Wounds" is a touch heavier, but perhaps the least interesting in terms of evolvement. The ambitious closing title-track is really the summary of what P.A.W.N. have put together, balancing, among others, between heavy keyboard-driven breaks and odd-time signatures with oriental influences in the vein of Dream Theater and Haken; perhaps the heaviest song on the album but with a length that does not do it justice...

With the exception of the high-pitched sound on some cymbals, the production is solid and clean. Some repetition due to the length of some tracks may curtail the level of listening experience - the same applies to the overall length of the album, which could have been ~10 minutes (or more) shorter, and would have given more points to this solid effort. The German-accented male vocals may slightly put you off but their "gothic" tone fits the atmosphere pretty well.

With the first half being the strongest, fans of The Gathering, Haken and Ayreon will likely enjoy this debut, which balances on the verge of heavy prog and melodic progressive metal.

3.5 stars

aapatsos | 3/5 |


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