The CD’s inlay booklet has photos of band members sporting shirts of Satan, Judas Priest and Nomad Son and that’s already an accurate forewarning of what was about to roar out of my speakers. “The Awakening” is 12th Ode’s debut album, self-released, and from all its pores oozes with the essence of old-school Metal, NWOBHM-style.
First thing to strike me is the top-notch sound production quality, much better than that of certain multi-million-selling bands (which might or might not have drummers called Lars). But at the end of the day, you’re only as good as your songs are and if “The Awakening” was a road, along it would be several billboards advertising the band’s songwriting skills. Alas I also felt some inconsistency in this regards. The album’s best songs seem to be at its head and tail ends. Sandwiched in the middle we have songs such as ‘Digging Your Own Grave’, ‘Master Of Your Own Fate’ and ‘No Respite’ which try to cling onto the listener’s attention but instead end up going nowhere.
On the other hand, ‘Such A Wild Thing’, ‘Forgotten Warriors’ and ‘Witch Hunter’ are catchy as hell, full of inspired guitar solos and sound simply great.
Girlschool, Diamond Head and Thin Lizzy are other bands that seem to have left their imprint on this album. The central riff of ‘Forever Wild’ bears an uncanny resemblance to Demon’s ‘Commercial Dynamite’. ‘When The Flame Fades’ has a long instrumental and doomy intro featuring an excellent Bluesy guitar solo….all of which gives the album an interesting edge.
Daryl Ebejer, 12th Ode’s vocalist, has a solid voice, melodic and dependable, even though he never burrows out of the limited confines of his safety zone.
As the cliché goes, “The Awakening” is not going to reinvent the wheel but it has enough going on to merit the attention of worldwide fans of this music genre. Just drop the band a message on their FB page or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and the album is already half yours.
Listen to ‘Forever Wild’ by 12th Ode:
- Such A Wild Thing
- Forgotten Warriors
- Life and Death
- Digging your Own Grave
- Master Of Your Own Fate
- No Respite
- Forever Wild
- When The Flame Fades
- Witch Hunter
Playing time: 45:56
Release date: 16th October, 2015