Primal Rock Rebellion – Awoken Broken

Band – Primal Rock Rebellion
Album – Awoken Broken
Genre – Metal/Experimental
Release Date – 2012
Label – Spinefarm Records

Super group’s, an odd subject in the metal world, when they work, they’re great (I, Black county communion, Chickenfoot) when they fail, they crash hard (Rock star supernova). PRR consists of 2 men from totally different ends of the metal world scale.
On one side we have vocalist Mikee Goodman from experimental ‘Djent’ band SikTh along with SikTh drummer Dan ‘Loord’ Foord, and on the other we have the guitarist from one of if not THE most popular metal band of all time Iron Maiden, Adrian Smith. This combination alone is enough to make anyone scratch their heads in wonder, it’s like putting Rob Halford with Trent Reznor….oh hang on?!.

The album starts off with No Friendly Neighbour and it’s clear from the first riff Smith plays that this isn’t going to sound like Maiden in any
shape or form, an almost Nu-metal styled riff is played with Goodman doing some spoken word over the top. When the song kicks in its clear that the vocals of Goodman are what makes this band stand out, if you were a fan of his vocals in SikTh then you won’t be disappointed, if you’re looking for Bruce Dickinson, you’ll be looking for an eternity. The song is a great start to the album, while sounding new and fresh it adds some certain Smith influence on the old school side of things towards the end.

Next up is definitely where die hard fans of both bands are either going to smile or cry down to Goodman’s vocals on this maybe a little hard to stomach for some in places but i think they fit the song nicely if a little unconventional. Smith also lends his hand to some Dickinson style woooahh’s in the background and a nice Maiden-esque solo. Next up in the first single from the album ‘I See Lights‘ maybe not the most obvious choice to represent the album due to its repetitiveness of the riff, but the song does show off some nice vocal work from both men here, as we all know Smith did sing a Maiden B-Side and he is more than capable of belting out a good tune. If you listen to this song in depth you will really get a feel of how many vocal styles Goodman really has, and it is rather impressive, especially the lower toned snarls he does, really giving the songs a darker atmosphere.

Bright as a Fire is for me the track of the album, starting off in a
slow Maiden-esque way, the song at first seems like the ballad of the
album but just little over 90 seconds in the song kicks into a mid paced
beast. Probably one of the more commercial of the songs in regards to
structure and vocal deliverance, the songs really quality is the variation of riffs which Smith delivers, the chugging after the chorus really adds a nice heavy touch after the chorus. It must be said that the production of the album is of top quality too, which unfortunately can’t be said for the past few Maiden albums, but they really nailed it on this!

Savage World is definitely one for the SikTh fans, the vocals on this
are pretty crazy, but not enough for older metal fans to turn their nose
up at, which I think is another aspect of the writing they have done well, the balance between the two writing styles is pretty much spot on.

Tortured Tone is the ballad of the album and definitely one of the
better songs on the album, again without the mixed vocal styles, the song would be just your average ballad. Some nice guitar synth touches in the background too as well as Smith does some backing vocals too. The two guys compliment each other well on songs like this. The quality of songs continues throughout the rest of the album. White Sheet Robes is another mini epic song, which lodges itself in your brain once you’ve listened to it. As Tears Come Falling From the Sky is not a song, its 48 seconds of pure madness and an incite to the crazy thoughts of Goodman.

The title track Awoken Broken reminded me a little of System of a Down in the chorus parts, a little crazy, a lot of layers to the song, but
again the thing that makes the song is the basic riffs of Smith with the
craziness of the vocals, I really can’t praise the song writing formula
enough.

Search For Bliss is one of the lighter songs on the album and one where Goodman shows he really can sing in a more, shall we say ‘normal’ style, with that said the song still has its harsh moments halfway through. I can see it being the second single off of the album, not because it’s maybe one of the better of the songs, it just seems more TV and radio friendly compared to the other songs on the album, which is by no means a bad thing. Snake Ladders is a mini story in song form. The music itself reminds me of the Metallica song ‘The Outlaw Torn’ a slower, with heavier riffs which obviously were not used to hearing from Smith in Maiden. Vocally, again it could compare from anything from Metallica to Nick Cave, especially on the spoken word parts, but again delivered in such a great way.

The album ends in a lighter way with ‘Mirror on the Moon‘ a great way to end the album, a more softer side to the band which reminds me of
something off any V.A.S.T album, which is always a good thing. there’s
also a hint of David Bowie to the sing which is definitely unexpected!
All in all I think its pretty safe to say that this album kicks ass – A
lot of it at that! I really hope these 2 make more music in the future and it’s not just a one off project, if this is just the beginning then I for
one can’t wait for what could become of this band. I’m also going out on a limb here and saying this could very well be ‘Album of the Year’ Forget about comparing this to Maiden or SikTh, listen to the album for what it is, a more that excellent modern hard rock and metal album!

5/5

Paul Brady

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