Monday, July 4, 2016

Lord - Awake

When the excellent EP, 'Alive In Golgotha', came out in 2014, Lord was in disarray. Only two members remained and the future looked bleak, to say the least. But on the back of the positive response to the EP and the iron will - no pun intended - of founder Will Rivera and his partner in crime, Steve Kerchner, a new line-up was put together and, voliĆ , 'Awake' was created. Who would have thought? Regardless, Lord continues to ride on their newfound strength as this new album annihilates everything in its wake.

Hitting the ground running with ‘No Explanation Necessary’, Lord set the bar high right from the start. Intense and furious, it pounds me into a bloody pulp. ‘Breathe’ lets off the speed somewhat allowing the twin-guitar attack of Will Rivera and Todd Wuehrmann to burst out some schizoid riffs that floor me. Mainly acoustic and percussive, ‘The Great Communicator’ is an emotional and beautiful tribute to their friend, Nick Crisostomo (Palkoski and Khaotika). Kerchner is belting out the lyrics in a way I have never heard him do before and it sends chills down my spine. ‘Strangers On The Road’ ups the ante in the neck breaking department. In all its furiosity, Lord bring forth such a nice groove and vibe despite the darkness and despair the lyrics display.
Furious, albeit simmering at the same time. Does that make sense? Well, that’s how ‘One Step Away’ plays out. Despite its in-yer-face approach it holds back until the moment is right to strike. ‘Reset The Wave’ builds on the chaos ‘One Step Away’ implies at, but it is a weird composition. Beautiful and strange, groove and guitar harmonies ride side by side with sludgy undertones. Finally the volcano erupts as the title track ends these proceedings. And true to the title, Lord keeps us sheep awake alright!

It’s amazing what new found energy and a new line-up can do to a band. Messieurs Wuehrmann, Dugay and Marimow – guitar, bass guitar and drums respectively, have given Lord a much needed jolt to stay on track with the accomplishments of ‘Alive In Golgotha’. And it has worked wonders since new musical avenues have been tested this time around; angles where the band hits the jackpot time and time again. ‘Awake’ is a fantastic album that shows you that stepping out of your box can pay off greatly.


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