Album Review :
Bodies Awake - The Great Renovation

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Band: Bodies Awake

Title: The Great Renovation

Label: N/A

Release Date: June 11, 2010

Review By: Scott L


  1. The Great Renovation
  2. Compassion
  3. Survivor, Deceiver
  4. Between The Dusk And Darkness
  5. Forfeit
  6. Close To Home
  7. Dissemble

As an old metalhead from back in the day, it’s always a pleasure when something with a little bite ends up gracing my stereo speakers or iPod headphones. I can still remember saving my allowance money so I could buy my very first record. And, yes, I do mean record. It was “Hotter Than Hell” by KISS. And, yes, I didn’t grow up in a Christian home so my choice of music was vastly different then. Over the years my tastes have swung all over the charts, but it seems to me that there’s always been a place in my heart reserved for the harder side of things. It’s just in me. And there are just times when nothing else will hit the spot. So it’s always a good day when I come across something to scratch that itch.

Bodies Awake is a 5-piece out of Fort Worth, Texas. Hailing from the second largest state in the country (it had to be done), these guys dish out a big sound in the form of a primordial brand of hardcore metal. Think somewhere along the lines of The Goodnight Horizon, The Air I Breathe, or The Advocate.

Starting with some melancholy piano in the instrumental EP opener to provide a layer of emotional ambiance, Bodies Awake quickly get things moving. And move they do. Big blast beats and course growls rule the day. All overlaid in a foundation of grinding guitars and a subtle electronic feel. Despite the production quality leaning a little towards the low end, the sound comes through well. Nothing overly raw or overly polished. The feel fits the style. I particularly enjoyed the tracks that featured a tighter bass sound in the mix which brought it into the foreground a lot more.

The standout track was “Survivor, Deceiver”. I thought it showed off some great diversity in the band’s talent. It was really a fantastic song all the way through. A full EP of that caliber songs could turn some heads.  In the coolest-song-title-I’ve-heard-in-a-while category, I’d have to go with “Between The Dusk And Darkness”.  That just has the smoothest ring to it.

That being said, my only real problem with this EP was that, although I enjoyed it, it struck me as just more of the same. The market is so oversaturated with bands that sound pretty much exactly like Bodies Awake, it’s hard for me to come up with a compelling reason to recommend one over the other. Not that bands should turn to gimmicks, but with the glut of choices facing a kid and his music money these days, there’s really gotta be something that helps a band stand out from the crowd or they’re gonna be swallowed up. And while the music is adeptly played and the message is commendable, at the end of the day this EP is, unfortunately, easy to forget in the barrage of sound-alike bands.

Does that mean you shouldn’t spend your money on this EP? Not at all. I think you should. If you like this style of music, I can whole-heartedly recommend these guys. Just know going in that you’ll have heard this before from different names with different faces. But at least these guys have something worthwhile to say. Lyrically, there’s not a whole lot of grey in the message. These guys are all about presenting the gospel in their songs. You’ll frequently hear lines like: “my God is compassionate”, “He will never abandon you”, or “it’s not too late to turn your life around”.

Overall: Bodies Awake has put out a good EP. The fact that it’s all pretty generic shouldn’t dissuade you from giving it a listen. It is what it is. Well made hardcore that won’t knock your socks off… but could still contribute to a wicked case of whiplash.