Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Heavy Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Karnivool Sound Awake album cover
4.09 | 293 ratings | 15 reviews | 40% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review
from partners
Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Simple Boy (5:47)
2. Goliath (4:37)
3. New Day (8:20)
4. Set Fire To The Hive (4:28)
5. Umbra (7:50)
6. All I Know (4:53)
7. The Medicine Wears Off (1:49)
8. The Caudal Lure (6:16)
9. Illumine (5:12)
10. Deadman (12:04)
11. Change [Part 2] (10:47)
12. Roquefort (4:49)

Total Time: 76:52

Line-up / Musicians

- Ian Kenny / lead vocals, acoustic guitar (11)
- Andrew 'Drew' Goddard / lead guitar, backing vocals
- Mark Hosking / guitar, backing vocals
- Jon Stockman / bass guitar
- Steve Judd / drums, percussion

- Prue Glenn / boy choir conductor (2)
- Jules Pacy-Cole / boy vocals (2)
- Javis Sun / boy vocals (2)
- Talfryn Dawlings / boy vocals (2)
- Zak Hanyn / boy vocals (2)
- Jessop Maticeuski Shumack / boy vocals (2)
- Grant McCulloch / vocals (10)
- Jason Bunn / viola (5)
- Louise Conray / percussion (1,11)
- Sam Tilot Kickett / didgeridoo (11)

Releases information

Artwork: Chris Frey with Joey K

CD Sony Music ‎- KARN04 (2009, Australia)

2xLP Cymatic Records - KARN01V (2015, Australia)

Thanks to rivertree for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy KARNIVOOL Sound Awake Music

$3.89 (used)

Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Sound Awake - Karnivool Compact Disc Free Shipping! USD $15.60 Buy It Now 3 days
Karnivool - Sound Awake 886975454723 (CD Used Very Good) USD $18.94 Buy It Now 3 days
Sound Awake by Karnivool USD $5.41 Buy It Now 3 days
KARNIVOOL - Sound Awake CD 2009 Sony AS NEW! USD $4.45 Buy It Now 4 days
KARNIVOOL limited original Vinyl 2LP Sound Awake (2015) USD $299.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Karnivool - Sound Awake (CD) USD $12.54 Buy It Now 5 days
KARNIVOOL - SOUND AWAKE [PA] NEW CD USD $12.65 Buy It Now 6 days
Karnivool Sound Awake CD 2011 RARE INDIA INDIAN HOLOGRAM NEW USD $110.99 Buy It Now 7 days
Karnivool - Sound Awake NEW CD USD $10.55 Buy It Now 8 days
Signed Autographed Karnivool Sound Awake CD cog Dead Letter Circus Butterfly Eff USD $58.25 Buy It Now 9 days
Karnivool-Sound Awake (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $29.25 Buy It Now 10 days
Karnivool-Sound Awake (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $29.82 Buy It Now 11 days
Karnivool - Sound Awake - CD - New USD $13.44 Buy It Now 15 days
Karnivool - Sound Awake CD SIGNED Cog Dead Letter Circus Tool Birds Of Tokyo USD $47.97 Buy It Now 15 days
KARNIVOOL - Sound awake - CD album USD $8.78 Buy It Now 19 days
Sound Awake - Karnivool (CD New) USD $19.82 Buy It Now 21 days
KARNIVOOL - SOUND AWAKE [PA] NEW CD USD $28.16 Buy It Now 21 days
Karnivool - Sound Awake (NEW CD) USD $12.86 Buy It Now 22 days
Karnivool Sound Awake 11 track cd 2009 USD $14.30 Buy It Now 23 days
Karnivool - Sound Awake [CD] USD $11.90 Buy It Now 24 days
Karnivool - Sound Awake [CD] USD $14.30 Buy It Now 25 days
Karnivool - Sound Awake [New CD] USD $28.17 Buy It Now 29 days

More places to buy KARNIVOOL music online Buy KARNIVOOL & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

KARNIVOOL Sound Awake ratings distribution

(293 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(40%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

KARNIVOOL Sound Awake reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rivertree
5 stars 'Sound Awake' - you can take this album title quite literally. Explosive - highly energetic stuff provided by this Australian combo. As for a quick summary I would say the are acting in the same league with Tool, Sieges Even, probably I should also name Porcupine Tree. So we have nothing really new as a matter of fact? No, not at all. The symbiosis of technical and composing skills which you can find here is truly making a big difference compared to some other bands which are trying to enter this level. Another fact is that KARNIVOOL go without traditional keyboards - only some electronic gimmicks are recognizable here and there. This means the sound is predominantly fronted by a varied dual guitar work and Ian Kenny's expressive vocal performance.

Errm ... before I risk to be stoned to death I should better point out the rhythm boys too. Jon Stockman often punches his bass guitar as much as is necessary. Let me take Goliath for example which is so powerful. But he's also able to play very accentuated - nominating the following New Day next (at least for the first minutes). And drummer Steve Judd is constantly varying his style. KARNIVOOL is one of those bands who reach for a balancing act, having commercial success (at least at their home country) when offering complex and well arranged heavy rock songs. Just take All I Know which is provided with a catchy groove. On the other hand the echoed and sometimes even distorted guitar style serves a spacey touch. Yeah, they know how to make it!

'Sound Awake' is brim-full with enjoyable impressions - the highlights though are kept for the finale. The 12 minute monster Deadman is probably the album's top song ... dynamic and melancholy pure. And if someone still may have serious doubts about the adequate prog factor I recommend to listen to Change intensively. 'Sound Awake' offers heavy art rock and prog metal bordering songs - similar to Portal's 'Blood Red Tape', but surely more tricky. Fantastic melodies all over. This album definitely belongs to your collection when you are keen on sophisticated heavy progressive rock music - simply perfect.

Review by aapatsos
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
4 stars Destined for the charts

In Sound Awake, KARNIVOOL play highly energetic, progressive, heavy alternative rock that can be incredibly catchy at the same time. With a clear American stamp in their music, the band is probably Australia's highest hope for something really great coming out of the modern alternative scene.

This is my first experience with the band and my interest in them kept rising while listening to this album over and over again. The first few listens made me think that this might be another Tool clone but with a more commercial approach. Indeed, as the album kicks off in a very punchy, dynamic manner with Simple Boy and Goliath, the sound of The Mars Volta and Tool's first albums appears strongly in a number of passages. Although Karnivool do not borrow the style of TMV, there are moments where their sound resembles strongly to them; the way the singer performs his vocal duties is one of the reasons.

Alternative rock/metal is the base of Karnivool's music, but they have taken this to the next level, adding lots of progressive elements but maintaining a "radio-friendly" atmosphere (New Day). However, the influences of the band go back to the beginnings of the so-called "grunge" movement and this is evident in their first single, Set Fire to the Hive which pays tribute to Soundgarden's Badmotorfinger days. It is only in the middle section of the album where a few nu-metal influences appear (e.g. mellower moments of Limp Bizkit), rendering this a less interesting part.

The exceptional rhythm section of the band shines in sophisticated and adventurous tracks like The Caudal Lure, where the style of Enchant comes in mind and confirms the "heavy-prog" tag given in PA. The odd-time signatures selected by the band are inspired and are executed perfectly throughout the album. Strangely, the two closing tracks are the longest compositions and that works nicely for the conclusion of the album, as there is great variety of experimentation, melodies and tempos to make these interesting enough. It also gives the chance to Ian Kenny to deliver some of his best vocal performance and reveal the affection for Alice in Chains.

Overall, Sound Awake is among the surprises of 2009 and could be well positioned to take its place among the best albums released in that year. Although Karnivool's originality can be questioned, they seem to bring a fresh sound to the scene of alternative heavy prog rock/metal. The great rhythm section and the filtration of influences from the "grunge" scene have produced a very dynamic album. Any fan of Tool, TMV and the "extended" alternative rock scene of the last 20 years is most likely to enjoy this awakening experience...

Review by Andy Webb
5 stars Anyone with the desire to peruse the progressive hard rock genre, named here on ProgArchives as "Heavy Prog," can see a clear dichotomy in the genre. On one side is the classic 70s sound, with thick Hammond swaths, overdriven guitar riffs, and a blues-rock based sound. On the other side is the more modern style, made up of the post-hardcore, punk, alt-metal, and other "modern" heavy rock bands that dabble in more progressive styles, most notable Porcupine Tree and The Mars Volta. While both constitute "heavy" prog, it's almost amusing how different the two styles can be.

Karnivool rose out of a Perth-based garage band formed by singer Ian Kenny in the late 90s. The band initially played a quite standard form of the nu-metal which had exploded over the past decade. The band, which gradually evolved over the years, released first the Persona EP in 2001, then the Themata LP in 2005, both displaying their rather average brand of alt metal. Finally, around 2008 something snapped. With the addition of Steve Judd on drums and John Stockman on bass, the band suddenly seemed driven to experiment with their sound. The masterful product of their mind-opening music adventure was their 2009 opus Sound Awake.

The sound of this album is hard to explain outright. The band, in their four year rest period from Themata, had obviously dabbled in countless different genres, ranging from atmospheric post rock and metal, jazz fusion, some kind of bass-heavy music, progressive metal, Porcupine Tree-esque psych-flavored hard rock and metal, and countless other experimental and progressive styles. On top of this, the quintet's chemistry as a compositional team exploded, as the album's fluidity and ease of transitions is expressed with ultimate grace constantly throughout the 75+ minute album. The crystal clear production and spot-on musicianship shines through the quintet's obvious passion and desire in their music. The harmonies, communication, and liquid nature of the music is perfect. Whether they are gently floating down melodically dense passages, cruising through aggressive sections of near metallic fury, the band is accurate in every attempt they make at composition.

Similar to the majestic Australian countryside, Sound Awake takes the listener on a musical journey, travelling across Outback plains of sand and stone, cityscape vistas of metropolitan chaos, and oceanic masses of majestic beauty. With dynamic like the beauteous soundscapes and post-rock inspired "New Day," the fast-paced and ferocious "Set Fire to the Hive," the epic grandeur of the 20-minute duo of "Deadman" and "Change," and every delicious second that lies out and in between, this album certainly has its share of masterful beauty. And while the band has technically been around for over a decade, this sophomore release certainly shows the band's alarming amount of maturity in music.

Speechlessness is most likely my first reaction on a simple perusal listen of the album. At first I thought a 76 minute album by this (at the time) unknown Australian band may have been a bit too daunting for one digestion, but I was quickly proven wrong by this breathtaking album. The consistent quality, constant pleasure, and commanding masterfulness of the album make it easily one of the best new releases by one of the "modern" heavy prog band. While at the time of this review's authorship Karnivool have yet to release a new album, many are eagerly awaiting more of this delicious formula, and understandably so. Highly recommended. 5 stars.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Agree with the comparisons to TOOL, THE MARS VOLTA (especially the voice of the singer), and, somewhat, PORCUPINE TREE, but would also add RIVERSIDE. An excellent album with some very fine composing and performances--heavy, subtle, creative and emotional. "Deadman" (9/10) and "New Day" (10/10) are classics in their own right, "Simple Boy" (8/10) and Goliath" (8/10) are great and exciting starters even though they sound a bit 'too familiar' (the TMV influence), "Set Fire to the Hive" (5/10) is my least favorite on the album--it's a bit over the top grungy for my tastes, "Umbra" (8/10) and "All I Know" (7/10) sound almost like amped up versions of 80's Aussie ICEHOUSE, "The Medicine" (6/10) and "Illumine" (7/10) are a bit too 'mainstream' metal, "Change" (9/10) is an awesome, powerful closer in the vein of the finest SABBATH, TOOL, BROTHER APE or RIVERSIDE has ever offered. This is definitely an excellent addition to any prog-lover's collection--especially if you're into the heavier, more-metallic side of prog. The only thing keeping me from proclaiming it a masterpiece is the many, many moments of over-familiarity. I think I'll let it percolate a little while longer before making my 'final' decision. Definitely worth checking out!
Review by Bonnek
3 stars Karnivool is a heavily Tool-oriented alternative rock band from Australia. "Sound Awake" is typically an album that I would have loved to bits 20 years ago, but looking from 2012 I find it too safe and cliché to stand out. I also fail to see the prog rock qualities in here, but maybe the occasional odd-time Tool rhythmic and resemblance to Oceansize's later albums will strike a prog chord for others.

In comparison to Tool, the band enjoys some actual good vocals, not the rather tuneless wine from Maynard but an emo-laden delivery with a dynamic range and an ear for fitting melodies. The compositions however are rather faceless and there's nothing here I wouldn't relate to Tool (with some Soundgarden thrown in maybe). While I don't begrudge a band its influences, I do prefer artists that combine a larger variety of sources into something of their own. Karnivool sounds too much as if the last 2 decades of music didn't happen, and while the alt rock/metal of the early 90s is an era I very much enjoyed at the time, it's one I've grown rather tired with, more then anything else actually. Some songs stand out more then others but it doesn't have potential for more then an occasional listen as the album in its entity bores me. An overtly long album if that still needs to be mentioned.

I'd say this a good album for people that missed the alternative rock scene of the early 90s or that can enjoy a well executed revival of it, but it looks like I will have to strike a rare dissonant chord amongst the praise this album received. And some dissonance is definitely what I crave for after the 76 overtly melodic and emo alt rock clichés that this album holds in store. I'd say a solid 3 stars as an alt rock album, 2.5 from a prog perspective.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars KARNIVOOL are an Australian band who play a dark and heavy brand of Alternative music bringing to mind TOOL, OCEANSIZE and early AMPLIFIER. A five piece band with two guitarists, a vocalist, bass player and drummer. Lots of guests helping out with mostly vocals but also viola, didgeridoo and percussion.

"Simple Boy" is a top three for me. It becomes heavy duty quickly as the vocals join in. The bass is massive here. A calm comes in but then they are kicking ass again late to end it. "Goliath" is also a top three. This one is very TOOL-like with vocals and huge bass lines. I like the guitar sounds early as they are experimental before they turn to riffs. "New Day" is one i'm not sure if i'm getting early on but it does get better. It kicks in hard after 4 1/2 minutes then settles back before 5 1/2 minutes. "Set Fire To The Hive" is experimental with processed vocals then here we go ! Cool section after 3 minutes then it kicks back in. "Umbra" opens with some atmosphere as the drums pound. It then builds before settling with reserved vocals. The tempo continues to change. Kicking it hard before 5 minutes then atmosphere only late as it blends into "All I Know". Drums and vocals kick in. This is surprisingly catchy. it settles after 2 minutes but not for long. There's something uplifting about this one.

"The medicine Wears Off" opens with acoustic guitar, percussion and reserved vocala. It kicks in after a minute then it ends with atmosphere. "The Caudal Lure" features some impressive drumming as the vocals join in. The tempo changes often. I like the sound after 4 minutes when the vocals stop. It blends into "Illumine" which sounds amazing ! Vocals and drums lead after 2 minutes and guitar before 3 minutes. "Deadman" opens with drums only as the vocals join in. It kicks in. Excellent sound 4 minutes in until after 7 minutes. Then it calms down. It starts to build before ending in a mellow manner. "Change Part 2" is my other top three and the closer. Love the deep and heavy sounds along with that dark vibe. Vocals join in as it picks up. It settles after 3 minutes but the tempo will shift often. Spoken word sample 5 1/2 minutes in until after 6 minutes then it kicks in again. Strummed guitar and reserved vocals before 9 minutes then drums a minute later as the vocals stop.

I initially thought this sounded too much like TOOL but that changed and they keep it interesting enough that i'm not even complaining about it being 72 minutes long.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
4 stars Aus proggers Karnivool released a dynamic alternative heavy prog album "Sound Awake", reminiscent of Tool, Cardiacs, Live or Soundgarden. Many cite this album as their pinnacle, as it is consistent in quality and innovative approach. It is a lengthy album of almost 80 minutes of powerful melodic and inventive prog rock.

'Simple Boy' drives along on a powerful time sig, confident loud vocals of Ian Kenny, crashing explosive drums, and an infectious chorus. 'Goliath' starts in 7/4 then locks into a weird 6/4 tempo, before the more conventional chorus. The bass tones of Jon Stockman are incredible, with a fuzzy sound and this is complimented by chiming jangly guitar phrases.

'New Day' has a guitar rhythmic intro then some tempo beats come in over the relaxed singing style. It builds to a measured rock vibe, some reverb guitar motifs and a new feel midway through; "hey let's get lost in a crowd, I'll show you much more". The heavier guitars are welcome in the instrumental break and it sounds somewhat like Live, one of my favourite 90s bands, especially their masterpieces "Throwing Copper" and "Secret Samadhi" that they never topped.

'Set Fire To The Hive' is much heavier with caustic phased vocals and some aggressive guitar riffs. This sounds a bit like System of a Down in places. It is the band unleashing a furious attack of raw guitar and pounding drum and bass rhythms, complete with police sirens. 'Umbra' has a nice melodic intro with some complex time sigs to follow. The guitar crashes with high powered drum ferocity, but the vox are soft and gentle in contrast. The light moments are darkened with brutal guitar tones. The lyrics are thought provoking; "Imagine that everything's effected by a cause, well I don't feel so lucky you know" and "set in stone and blood, hold your promise." The ending is wonderful, with low guttural guitar splashes on an urgent drum beat that fade into a spacey tone. 'All I Know' segues seamlessly with an odd quirky riff and nice harmonised singing; "Are you with me, this is more than just infinity, I'm a soul taker, hey is this the end of all I know." The lead guitar break is very pleasant with sustained tones and it breaks into a Tool like rhythm. 'The Medicine Wears Off' is a short piece at 1:49, which is rather melancholy with outstanding singing from Kenny. It leads to 'The Caudal Lure' that veers into odd time sigs from 4/4, 3/4 to 2/4, and the drums of Steve Judd are intricate throughout. It has a rock feel and some blasting guitar riffs.

'Illumine' begins with sonic feedback and very distorted guitars leading to the verse; "don't listen, don't even hear a sound they make, it breaks you, words that haunt you while you're sleeping, you seem afraid, don't be alone." This has a nice melodic line and more commercial in sound then previous songs.

'Deadman' is the longest song at 12 minutes, with cool percussion grooves and rhythmic guitar picking. The vocals are well executed with lyrics such as; "Grab your belongings the exit is near, this can't be happening." The song breaks into a new time sig with faster tempos at the 4 minute mark, this leads to a glorious lead break from Drew Goddard and Mark Hosking. The jerky off sync guitar riff at 9 minutes is a dynamic touch, and then it moves to a low vocal and bells on this excellent highlight. The last section is gentle high register vox, and Pink Floydian guitar sounds. 'Change [Part 2]' is also long (10:47) and another highlight opening with machine grinding crushing guitar blasts. The didgeridoo is killer along with cool vocals and it moves to a section reminding me of Live at 3 and a half minutes in; "what a way to see this thing out, what a way to lay your burden down". The low grinding drone has a Tool sound and the way it blazes into the odd riff sig. The drum solo at the end by Judd is fantastic.

'Roquefort' closes the album with a bright riff and very low end bass, and the vocals are more aggressive. It is more of an FM radio track than others but finishes on a rocker with melody and heavy riffs.

Overall "Sound Awake" is a very dynamic and powerful album that will resonate with fans of Tool yet Karnivool inject their own style with some passion and fire. The riffs are ever changing along with tempo shifts, and the mood throughout is consistent with a dark edge and moody atmospheres. It is an excellent lengthy journey and showcases the best of Australian music at its most alternative and progressive.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Karnivool's Sound Awake finds the band making perhaps their most gripping and seamless expression of their blend of alternative metal and progressive rock. In the "metal bands who've listened to a bunch of Pink Floyd" stakes, they rank well alongside acts like Anathema - and truth be told, I find them less dependent on heavy handed Floyd-isms than Anathema and much more original in their sound. That said, I still find that this is a bit of a hit-or-miss album; in particular, the band are building this prog edifice based on a foundation from the poppier end of alt-metal, which bugged me and I suspect may bug other listeners who find alternative metal to be a bit of a mixed bag.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Every once in awhile, most music listeners are going to discover an album that feels like it was made specifically for them, but somehow managed to slip under their radar for an obscenely long time. Sound Awake has proved to be one of those albums for me. Without going into too much personal deta ... (read more)

Report this review (#2166643) | Posted by CassandraLeo | Sunday, March 17, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Karnivool expanded on their debut "Themata" with this 2009 release by exploring some more complex songwriting and time signatures. The result is a very solid release with some moments of pure magic. Right from the start we're treated to something a bit different. The opening track "Simple Boy" ... (read more)

Report this review (#954636) | Posted by bonestorm | Sunday, May 5, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Has it really been five years since Sound Awake? Damn. Ever since I started doing this review-on-anniversary thing, I've been kind of surprised at what comes of. More often than not I'm thinking "damn, five years already. I can remember when this one was still getting hype", but in the case of So ... (read more)

Report this review (#831289) | Posted by Gallifrey | Sunday, September 30, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 9/10 Good .. pretty good. It's always nice to see a band with a sound so fresh and catchy. Prepare for aggressiveness, poignancy, weight and skills Karnivool. I've roamed this album for some time, and thanks to offers download could hear him (I know, it's illegal, but where I live is the on ... (read more)

Report this review (#823515) | Posted by voliveira | Tuesday, September 18, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Awake but still forgotten Introduction This is the 1st time I write ''live'' on progarchieves (I'm used to write offline on a txt file before posting a review), anyway let's go straight to the reason why I'm here! Karnivool are almost unknown outside of Australia, founding this album was a m ... (read more)

Report this review (#524586) | Posted by Erik Nymas | Friday, September 16, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Tool...Mars Volta...A Perfect Circle are real and evident on this 2009 release by Karnivool. It is pretty obvious where their influences lie. Just listen to the 12 minute track "Deadman". Could have fit very well on AENIMA by Tool, or FRANCIS THE MUTE by The Mars Volta. Not to say there is any ... (read more)

Report this review (#448437) | Posted by mohaveman | Monday, May 16, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars With Sound Awake, Karnivool has jumped straight to the top of my list of bands to watch out for. Their first full-length album Themata is definitely a great album, but it's got more of an Alternative Metal (and even at times Nu Metal) vibe than this album does. Sound Awake is still a hard rocking ... (read more)

Report this review (#277053) | Posted by AgentSpork | Friday, April 9, 2010 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of KARNIVOOL "Sound Awake"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives