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




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3.48 | 25 ratings

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3 stars "The Gift of Awareness" is the debut full-length studio album by German progressive rock/metal act P.A.W.N.. The album was released independently in September 2014 in both digital format and on CD. P.A.W.N. was formed in 2002 by former members of the goth/death metal act Querimonia, who released the "Void of Malice" album in 1998. The band played local gigs for a number of years, but lineup changes and the death of guitarist Daniel Müller-Ramien, were serious bumps on the road, and it wasnīt until 2009, that P.A.W.N. started working on "The Gift of Awareness". First as a trio and after the death of Daniel Müller-Ramien, as the duo of Dennis Matzat (Drums, Percussion) and Sebastian Rudolph (Keyboards, Keyboard-Guitars & Basses (Ministry of Rock), Vocals, iPad). The album features some guest/session musicians too. Most prominently female vocalist Lisa-Marie Rothe.

While the music on "The Gift of Awareness" can predominantly be described as progressive rock, the guys in the band havenīt completely forgotten their metal past, and there are several heavy sections on the album, which border and even cross into progressive metal territories. Each of the 6 tracks on the 78:34 minutes long album features multilayered instrumental work, a relatively high compositional complexity, but also a focus on atmosphere. While the female vocals are the most dominant vocal type on "The Gift of Awareness", there are male vocals on the album too.

The musicianship is generally on a very high level. Iīm especially impressed by the drumming on the album, which is both skillfully performed but also quite powerful and intriguing. Other than the drums which are quite dominant in the mix, the instrumentation mostly consists of loads of keyboards, and bass and guitars.

Except for "The Princess is out tonight" which is "only" 5:37 minutes long, all tracks on the album are very long, with four tracks exceeding 10 minutes in length. The closing title track is even a 26:04 minutes long giant of a progressive rock/metal track, so there are quite a bit of quantity for the money. Fortunately the quality follows suit. In addition to clever songwriting, and skillful performances by all involved, "The Gift of Awareness" also features a clear, detailed, and well sounding production. It lacks an organic touch, if you crave such a sound, but otherwise itīs a quality sound production. Especially considering that itīs predominantly a home recording done by two men.

Upon conclusion "The Gift of Awareness" is a relatively strong debut album by P.A.W.N.. Itīs obvious that these guys have put a lot of hours into the project, writing, recording, and producing the album, and it has payed off. Itīs not the most original sounding progressive rock release out there, and there are moments on the album which are slightly sub par to the best material (for example Iīm not sure the male vocals on "The Princess is out tonight" sound that great to my ears), but overall a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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