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In what seems to be a new trend of more obscure bands from the 80s resurging The Meister has uncovered another gem. Welcome to the new Millennium, one might say (pun fully intended). The Awakening album from UK’s Millennium is set for self-release in October 2017. After repeatedly listening to the album on commutes to and from work the past week or so, I can comfortably announce that Awakening will be a top ten of the year contender! As any of my readers will probably know, the NWOBHM style is a preferred genre for me and Awakening is a shining example of it thriving today. The entire album exudes a raw energy chock full of power and melody.
Millennium‘s Awakening album starts off exactly as I like…an infectious raw guitar riff. That’s the kind of thing that hooks me right off the bat and makes me perk up with full attention. The riff starts on left speaker with drums/rest of band pounding in right after about 12 seconds. The song, “False Reality”, charges along nicely on the backbone of that riff. Mark Duffy‘s vocals are strong and clear, chock full of both power and melody. Tasteful solos peppered throughout the track enhance this traditional metal gem. A perfect window into Awakening, check out the official lyric video below.
“Rise Above” is brow beating in a short description! A little less hooky with less melody than the lead but still an incredibly engaging track. The acoustical beginnings of “Searching” taper back the assault. But don’t be fooled here. It’s not long before the full on sonic pummeling crashes in once again. The lyrical subject matter is particularly relative to me at this current moment……
Following the 43-second long interlude “The Spell” comes the title track, “Awakening”. Over five minutes of thrashy riffage bliss featuring a charging verse that would surely be a headbangers delight during live shows. Next up,“Lies All Lies” could be the cream of the crop from Awakening. The assaulting pace easily bores itself into your brain another complete fist raiser. Almost with a larger than life aura, “The Calling” leads off the back half keeping your fist high in the air. In no way does Awakening slow down nor lose pace through to its dying moments. Tracks, “Witch Hunt”, “When Mad Men Rule” (with a super catchy chorus), “Revolution Calls” and “Possessed” complete this ensemble of classic metal mastery.
A definite contender for my top ten albums of 2017!
A BRIEF HISTORY OF MILLENNIUM
Millennium originated back in 1982, releasing their debut album in 1984. They disbanded in 1988 but not before they had recorded a number of demos. In 2014, No Remorse Records re-issued that debut and then in 2016 the album Caught In A Warzone. The latter album was crafted from the recordings the band had made before calling it quits in 1988. Founding members Mark Duffy (vocals) and Steve Mennell (drums) together with Dave Hardy (guitar 1985-1988) resurrected Millennium. Alongside these guys were new guitarist Will Philpot and bassist Andy Fisher as Millennium played their reunion show at Brofest Festival 2016. Unfortunately, ill health and other commitments soon saw the departures of Steve Mennell and Dave Hardy. With new drummer Darren Moore on board, the band recorded Awakening at Coach House Studios in France and mixed it at Ritual Studios in Darlington, UK.
Again, welcome to the new Millennium!