Jan 2022 03

Album CoverThe Awakening
Album: This Alchemy
Category: Goth / Rock / Darkwave
Label: Intervention Arts
Release Date: 2021-05-28


As the band’s tenth album, it’s fair to say that This Alchemy does not offer any major surprises from The Awakening; rather, the record’s 11 tracks show Ashton Nyte and his cohorts making a strong exhibition of what the group has become known for – an electrified brand of darkwave and classic goth/rock that formidably draws on the genre’s traditions. Nyte’s baritone croon is ever a highlight, full of the deep and throaty resonance that made the likes of Peter Murphy and Andrew Eldritch so revered; he mostly stays in that lower range throughout the record, while still occasionally breaking into higher registers to emphasize the emotive crescendos of tracks like “All Tomorrow’s Saints,” his voice and the light synths backed by forceful waves of distorted guitar feedback for that necessary extra touch of angst. Instrumentally speaking, The Awakening seems to vacillate between the electronic and organic sounds rather effortlessly – again, no surprise that the band would be able to do so masterfully 10 albums in – with songs like “When the Fear Subsides” and “A Victory of Love” even delving into almost full-on ‘80s new wave territory with multilayered keyboards and clanging percussion to provide a mechanical ambience; the same is true of “Into the Machine,” the descending synth riff that caps off each chorus bearing an almost orchestral character that stands out nicely, while the slower tempo and acoustic guitar in the song’s second part, complemented by some minimal synths, feels almost reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails in the ‘90s. “Take Me Home” and “Winter’s Unknown” also are notable for the poignant interplay of acoustic guitars, chilled pianos, and lightly swelling and evocative keyboard arrangements, but “Zero Down” is perhaps the most lyrically striking track for its very sharpened critiques of the indignities suffered by artists in the digital age. There really isn’t a bad track on This Alchemy, each chockful of solid production and songwriting coupled with The Awakening’s firm grounding in the style cultivated by the likes of Clan of Xymox, The Sisters of Mercy, or The Wake. The record doesn’t attempt to rewrite the book on goth, preferring to offer a mellifluous recitation for your dark pleasure.
Track list:

  1. Bitter Bliss
  2. Into the Machine (Part 1 + 2)
  3. Zero Down
  4. Shadow Call
  5. Winter’s Unknown
  6. When the Fear Subsides
  7. A Victory of Love
  8. Take Me Home
  9. Empty Garden
  10. All Tomorrow’s Saints
  11. This Alchemy

The Awakening
Website, Facebook, Bandcamp, YouTube
Ashton Nyte
Website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube
Intervention Arts
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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