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LIVESAY - AWAKEN THE GIANT (CD, 2010) amazing melodic metal

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It is has been a few years since the heyday of prog rock, but I've always enjoyed bands that combined instrumental firepower, grand concepts, and a spirit of musical adventure. When I first heard the term prog-metal I wasn't too sure, but after discovering great songs like "I Am I" by Queensryche and "The Drapery Falls" by Opeth I was more open-minded. The band Livesay is another terrific progressive band with a metallic edge that I've come across. The music on their album "Awaken the Giant" has a propulsive dimension that's hard to resist. These guys can rock, but they can also surprise you with subtle and atmospheric passages. You may not have heard of these guys - yet. But vocalist Dean Sternberg has the kind of voice that can carry a group. In fact I'd say he's a cut above. The rest of the band is top notch too. For me, standout moments include guitarist Gregg Livesay's Arabic flavored guitar work in the instrumental "Aphasia" and the epic-length track "The Agonist" which could hold its own in a collection of prog rock epics. I particularly like the lyrics: In the rhythmic waves of time A moment comes in with the tide, And spills upon the sand a silent revelation A second is a thousand years A single cry commensurates a world of tears. I think even Pete Sinfield, lyricist for ELP and King Crimson, would tip his cap to lines like these. If you enjoy progressive music with a metallic edge and discovering new bands, then I think you'll find Livesay as much of as revelation as I did. Reviewed by the author of "Yes and Philosophy."

1 Zero Hour (Instrumental) 1:05
2 Awaken The Giant 4:01
3 The Burning Times 6:00
4 Aphasia (Instrumental) 5:32
5 Flesh & Blood 7:51
6 Tower Of Silence 5:39
7 Dance Of The Egyptian King (Instrumental) 5:11
8 The Agonist 12:51