Blessthefall’s third full-length album feels like a band transitioning towards a future it’s still de?ning. More direct and commercial tracks such as “40 Days...” and “Bones Crew” do away with many of the typical metalcore trappings—especially the screamed vocals—but retain plenty of power and punch, while the anthemic album closer “Meet Me at the Gates,” weighing in at seven minutes-plus, takes the Phoenix quintet con?dently into epic territory. Too much of Awakening, however, is marked by same-sounding guitar and drum patterns and dynamic shifts that showcase the group’s tight, precision playing but scream for variety. Solid, but we’re betting the fourth time’s the charm. GARY GRAFF
Only $1.66 per issue!