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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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3 stars P.A.W.N. stands for ''The Projection of Ancient Wisdom and Naration'' and this is a Hamburg-based band, formed sometime in 2002 out of the ashes of the Gothic/Dark Metal act Querimonia.The band had a cult following around the area after playing numerous lives in local clubs, but things didn't turn out very well along the way.At some point they were reduced to the trio of Sebastian Rudolph, Dennis Matzat and Daniel Mueller-Ramien and moreover Mueller-Ramien was diagnosed with a tumor in 2009.Apparently he focused on his treatment and the remaining duo decided to keep the flame alive, working as a tight team to finish the recordings of the debut album ''The Gift of awareness'' with the help of Lisa-Marie Rothe on female vocals and some guest musicians on acoustic guitar.Sadly by the time of the album's release in 2014 Daniel had passed away and Rudolph and Matzat dedicated this album to him, his vocals and E-guitar can be heard in the fourth track ''Vessels''.

Musically this comes as a pleasant surprise, not only because ''The Gift of awareness'' sounds as a complete effort, created by a regular band, but because Rudolph and Matzat measured their forces by producing very long and multi-themed tracks with an atmospheric variation, mostly based on Heavy Prog stylings, but always showered by some Goth-like leftovers from their previous group and lots of symphonic and orchestral elements.In total there are six pieces in here with four of them clocking at over 10 minutes, Rudolph was forced to complete the album using keyboard guitars and basses next to his regular stint as a keyboardist.But the guys did a great job, avoiding any tiring fillers and coming up with a bunch of great pieces, where AYREON/STREAM OF PASSION meet DREAM THEATER meet PORCUPINE TREE.Powerful electric guitars, bombastic orchestral moves, Classical-drenched strings and piano and even some retro-styled Prog keyboard samplers deliver an impressive amalgam of progressive arrangements, cinematic moods, dynamic rhythms and symphonic overtones.I am not quite fond of some of the male vocals, which I find pretty irritating, but the female ones are simply great, crystalline and passionate at the same time.The atmosphere is usually pompous with plenty of grandiose instrumental parts and sinister climates and all tracks are efficient to the point to become trully fascinating at times.But the farewell 26-min. title track is the absolute pinnacle of the album, a balanced mix of flashy keyboard parts with Electronic touches, injections of old-styled Sympho/Orchestral Rock ala RENAISSANCE and frenetic Prog Metal, highlighted by an excellent drummer and the impressive keyboard work of Rudolph.Very solid stuff with a display of composing talent, technique and atmospheric depth in equal doses, featuring an incredible number of twists and turns.Beautiful material.

Thumbs up for this German act, which managed to complete a great album under very emotional circumstances.Strongly recommended to all Heavy Prog and Prog Metal enthusiasts, who don't mind some touches of Rock Opera, Symphonic Rock and Gothic Metal in the menu...3.5 stars.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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