SoCal hard rockers P.O.D are going against the modern day process of album singles and single track listeners with their new concept album The Awakening which has been produced by Howard Benson (My Chemical Romance, Kelly Clarkson). This being the ninth P.O.D album, the band took a vastly different approach which remains vital to provide fans with something unique.
Unified entirely by conversations, sound effects and other various spoken words, this 10 track album travels on a journey based on life choices of the central character. Am I Awake is a statement opening track, the two minute long introduction into the concept of the album sets the ground for a blistering chorus. This Goes Out To You, the first single that was released, is a throwback to previous feel-good funk based tracks in a more overall heavy alternative rock album, however still incorporating reggae elements which will be stuck in your head for hours. Rise of NWO strikes more of a resemblance to older P.O.D tracks with its harsh and aggressive hip-hop, taking the album to a different, darker tone.
Criminal Conversations featuring Maria Brink of In This Moment, who lends her angelic and mysterious vocals onto a rather mellow track, provides the album with chance to breath before moving full throttle into Somebody’s Trying To Kill Me and Get Down, both offer heavy bass and dark aggressive vocals from Sonny Sandoval as the storyline takes a tumble for the worst.
Other guest Sick Of It All’s Lou Koller on Revolución is an excellent choice for a track that hits everything just right. This album is full of genre experimenting and P.O.D aren’t a band to shy away from mixing their music up. The track breaks down into an unanticipated reggae bridge before cutting back into the edgey, borderline hardcore instrumentals, making for an overall stand out track.
The Awakening is full of solid individual tracks but a meaningfully in depth body of work when listened to from start to finish. Not many bands pull off a really great concept album and any P.O.D fan should be extremely happy that even nine albums in are still going strong with this bold, bulky and expressive album.
The Awakening is available 21st August via T-Boy/UMC.