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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 Reviewer
3 stars P.A.W.N. - The Gift of Awareness

This album was offered for free by the band for this review.

This young German project of two very gifted musicians has managed to record a very well sounding debut album in progressive & technical metal genre, though some tracks are mainly symphonic. The recording quality is really good, especially if you take into account the fact that the band states it is a product of homerecording. My only complaint is the frequent use of electronic samples of orchestral instruments that usually end up sounding a bit cheap after a while, especially without the layers of heavy guitars that hide the artifical sound. Soundwise the band reminds me of Dream Theater and Ayreon.

Sebastian Rudolph plays all keyboards and guitars, the technically developed drums are played by Dennis Matzat and the main vocalist is Lisa-Marie Rothe. Her vocal performances really ad to the liveliness of the album, her thick sounding voice reminds me a bit of modern Kayak's Cindy Oudshoorn. PAWN likes the use elements of classical music, including big percussion sounds and orchestral sounds. The band likes to suprise us with frequent tempo-changes.

The six tracks add up to almost 80 min of material. I can't help but asking why the band didn't choose for picking only the very best of the material and make a strong 50 min album? So many modern progressive records are ruined by the weight of length and the addition of non-essential songs.

The over twelve minute long opening track 'Sailors in the Sky' is a strong and varied progressive metal track that shows the full potential the band has. 'The Princess is Out Today' is good continuation and shows the band is able to write a shorter track. 'A Voyage of Uncertainty' a thirteen minute track of the beforementioned orchestral imitations that really breaks up the rockin' atmosphere, but perhaps I just fail to appriciate the folksy piratesque feel of the song. 'Vessels' has a strong symphonic metal ending but otherwise lacks the power to impress, which also counts for 'Fatal Wounds' - a track that just doesn't find a melody that gives the song a core or base. The 26 minute long titletrack is a way more adventerious and inventive composition, just like the opening track. The band sounds way more enthusiastic and all ideas just work out.

Conclusion. Now, I'm not a frequent listener to modern prog, and it is hard for me to rate an album like this. I liked the fresh opening song and the adventerious ending track and without the rest this would have been much better in my humble opinion - and you'd still have a 40 minute album. As it is now I'll give it three stars, but I think many progressive metal listeners will find a very interesting and sophisticated album.

friso | 3/5 |


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