ONWARD – Reawaken

ONWARD - Reawaken


Century Media
Release date: February 19, 2002

User Review
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Onward can easily be described as one of the most, if not the most promising, heavy metal band to come out of the States in the last years. Toby Knapp, the band’s brilliant guitar player, is no newcomer to the scene, having been a key member in Darken, a black metal band that released an album in 1998. Singer Michael Grant is identical with the singer from Legend Maker, a Colombian band that impressed me a few years back with their The Path To Glory album.

Grant, not being Colombian though, sings in a strong and powerful quite typical American way, maybe best described as epic? No, not epic, but slightly epic, while most of all soulful and emotional yet heavy and aggressive without going into hardcore singing (thank God!). Despite a good singer and a very skillful and creative guitar player who can handle the whole metal register and more, Onward never forgot that the main focus behind creating music is to make great songs.

Where a lot of talented players use the song as an excuse to show off their technical abilities, Knapp and his band, also featuring Chris Payette on bass and Jon Pereau on drums, deliver melodic metal with strong (ever)moving rhythms, sometimes going into fast blasts as well as mid-tempo pounding. And Toby pays great respect to an incredible but unfortunately underestimated (and forgotten?) guitar hero with the cover of Japanese Loudness’ “Clockwork Toy”, a version that sounds like Akira Takasaki was riffing himself. Don’t expect America to reawaken to Metal to Reawaken, as history shows that quality is not synonymous with what sells, but if America wakes up again – Onward will be have to hire more than one accountant…


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