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A.W.A.S.- HOPE (*NEW-CD, 2006, Open Grave Records) Christian Progressive Thrash/Death Metal

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A.W.A.S.- HOPE (*NEW-CD, 2006, Open Grave Records) Christian Progressive Thrash/Death Metal

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From Germany!

Tracklist
1 Intro 0:51
2 Your Choice 4:18
3 Erfolg? 4:57
4 Damned To Death 4:50
5 Hope 3:56
6 Sünderwahn 3:44
7 Finish Him 3:40
8 Martyr's Death 2:30
9 Creed 3:40
10 A.W.A.S. 4:38
11 Saved 1:11

REVIEW
This is another album I bought completely blindly from the thrift store that just happened to be a real diamond in the ruff and comes in near the top of the list for good things I’ve found at the thrift store. They only have one other demo to their name apparently which is just a shame as it’s always sad to see a band, especially one this good, come out of the gate and then disappear into thin air and because only having forty minutes of these guys just isn’t fair.

Variety is a thing these men manage to incorporate well with the tempos ranging from thick heavy grooves to all out thrashing and even a little nod to punk contained in a few segments of drum work. Sometimes keeping a listener entertained and in tune with what’s happening can be a difficult task but it’s one the band never seem to struggle with as every song does well at being a unique piece that works well in the whole package.

The guitars are thick, heavy, and downright crunchy at times packing a nice bite to go with the barks of Viktor Kröker. The grooves these guys manage to churn out will have you head banging along the entire time and songs like Damned to Death will stick with you for hours to come after it’s over. Changes in pace flow easy as the guys effortlessly switch back and forth between rock solid chug-a-longs and raging thrash attacks. Speaking of barks, Viktor is an exceptional talent fronting this band. Ranging from deep, billowing growls to very clean and audible, almost spoken grunts, to bestial screams (though the latter are hardly ever used which is a real shame) this boy sure does have an excellent range on his pipes. One possible downside to the vocals is that they can be a bit overpowering at times and almost drown out everything else, this is a trait I personally don’t take issue with but I can see as to how it would bother some. There’s a few tracks (Erfolg? and Sünderwahn) that are sung exclusively in the bands native language, German. These two are probably among my favorites on the album as they feel far more aggressive and pissed off than the rest and I'm sure that has something to do with the sound of the language itself.

A.W.A.S. takes an interesting stance on their beliefs being not just ordinary Christians but Anti Satanists and that mentality shines through into their music. When listening to Hope you kind of get the sense that these guys are actually gearing up for battle in the ‘war against Satan’. I can almost hear this being played in the background to every bible story I’ve ever read where somebody was inevitably killing somebody else. While the lyrics can be seen in many a different light the fact that this album makes me feel like I need to get ready for a war is a highly desirable quality. This would probably also make a really good sound track for some real wrath of God, pillar of salt or plague of locusts type stuff. If you’re ever about to start some war games and need background music do yourself a favor and check these guys out.