It was the Big Day Out and Children Collide had just finished their set, we rushed across to the other stage and were met with a pounding drum beat and an amazing set from Bird of Tokyo. To be honest I wasn’t really expecting much from Birds of Tokyo, I loved their first album but for me their second album wasn’t up to the standard of their first. But after their set, I was converted and had a new appreciation of the band members. Why am I saying this? As it happens, Birds of Tokyo started out as a side project for the singer and guitarist in the band I’m reviewing today, the band’s called Karnivool and they’ve just released their second album and have also found themselves being compared to bands like Tool.
‘Sound Awake’ is the new album from Perth band Karnivool and the anticipation for it was pretty high, as their debut album was released in 2005. The album’s a more progressive approach and a few of the songs are almost soundscapes. One thing that hasn’t changed, is the band’s ability to write metal songs that are quite catchy, this is evident with the first song ‘Set Fire To The Hive’, but also with a few of the other songs.
The album itself is not exactly what I expected, but I guess that wasn’t really a big surprise, it’s definitely a step forward from their first album and while this may be coming from the fact that I have a soft spot for progressive music, I still think that it a more solid album than ‘Themata’.
The first single, ‘Set Fire to the Hive’ is a great song. It’s one of those songs that just jumps from the rest of the album and gets stuck in your head. The voice manipulation used at the start of the song is cool and makes the song sound very industrial, and I really enjoyed the fact that the lead singer has experimented with effects on his voice, because it gives his voice a rejuvenated sound.
I’m not going to talk about many of the other tracks, because I think this album should be enjoyed as a full album, it has ups and downs, and also heavier and softer moments. But despite all the changes in sound it holds together extremely tight. It’s a different sound to their debut ‘Themata’ but it’s a good change and sets up the next album, which I’ll be eagerly awaiting.
An a fan of Australian rock, I feel as though I’m in the middle of listening to one of the best rock bands to come out of Australia and I really do urge everybody who reads this to go out and buy the album.
~ by Michael Hodder on June 5, 2009.