The earliest incarnation of what would become Awaken can be dated back to late 1994, when Jon Eardley and Brian Rosenthal would sit down in a basement in St. Paul and come up with countless riffs, many of which would become songs the two would eventually write together. After jamming with various drummers they’d decided to work extensively with one in particular, in another basement in St. Paul, and it was shortly after that in early 1996 when they started working with vocalist and wordsmith Ty Brookman. With Brookman’s wide range of melodic cleans mixed with his roaring death metal growls, he solidified his spot in the band right from the first jam session. Shortly thereafter, he had expressed concerns about their current drummer’s ability to give the songs the driving force they needed, and he recommended they jam with drummer Russ Wallin at his place in southern Minnesota. It only took Eardley about 30 seconds into the first song they played to realize that this was indeed the bombastic yet classy drumming style the thrash-laden music needed.
Through a mutual agreement between the group’s current members, Rosenthal left the group in late 1996 and the search was on for not only another guitar player to replace him, but someone to play bass guitar as well. After auditioning what seemed like an endless number of guitarists and/or bassists, frustration started to settle in as the three core members of what was now officially Awaken just couldn’t find the right musicians to complete the lineup. By chance and a ‘I know a guy’ recommendation through a friend of the band, Awaken auditioned ex-Realm bassist Steve Post in mid-1997, and much like with the first jam with Wallin the other guys in the room knew they’d found their man in Post mere seconds into the jam. Not only did he have the chops straight out of the Steve Harris meets Billy Sheehan school of bass guitar, but he had the ability to learn the songs with ease. It was apparent from that point on that not only was the search for a bass player over, but the four members that now made up Awaken saw no need to find a 2nd guitarist.
After writing upwards of 20 songs together and playing a handful of shows from early 1998 to early 1999, the band split up for various reasons, the main ones being this thing called life coupled with the fact the local heavy metal scene in the Twin Cities at the time was non-existent for the most part. While the breakup brought on a great sense of disappointment for all involved, considering they were never able to walk away from it with a proper recording, the guys still remained in touch and would get together at various jam sessions over the years. After years and years of talking about recording an album – unfinished business, if you will – the group entered StudioEvil in December 2010 to record what would become their debut album, The Quickening.
Through a tumultuous practice regiment leading up to the recording, to things in life that just like to get in the damn way, right down to the countless hours Brookman spent recording and turning knobs mixing the nine songs that made the album, the band can finally say they have the proper album they’d felt they could be proud of. Ultimately the recording process took close to three years to complete, but considering the songs were all written in the late 90’s, the fact Awaken’s debut album The Quickening is in the books is what the main goal was in the new millennium, and through hard work and perseverance their collective goal has been achieved.
released September 27, 2013
All music written and arranged by Awaken with additional credit to Brian Rosenthal for Charred Remains and Doom's Wrath.
Additional performances by Brian Rosenthal, (All guitar leads and guitar harmonies on Doom's Wrath & Charred Remains) Chris Chelgren, (Viola & Violin on Doom's Wrath) & Tatum DeBlieck. (Vocal Harmonies on Doom's Wrath)
All songs recorded, mixed and mastered @ StudioEvil by Ty Brookman
Album art and logo designed by Moon Ring Design (Logo inspired by Russ Wallin)
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