Saturday, January 21, 2012

We Are Killing Ourselves - The Road Of Awareness

We Are Killing Ourselves
The Road Of Awareness
Rastilho Records

Four years after the release of their debut full-length effort ‘Deconstructive Essence’ (Which was released through Recital Records), Portuguese based outfit We Are Killing Ourselves (A.K.A. W.A.K.O.) are back with their long awaited sophomore effort ‘The Road Of Awareness’. And it doesn’t fail to deliver one bit.
Although the five piece act (Who currently comprise of vocalist Nuno Rodrigues, guitarists João Pedro and André Sobral, bassist André Landeck and drummer Bruno Guilherme) showed a lot of promise on their debut, it was always going to be their follow-up that determined whether or not the band were truly capable of taking on challenges of stepping up their game. And sure enough, the band has done just that, as evident in the opening track from their latest effort ‘The Shape Of Perfection’.
Opting for a somewhat slower paced opener, after a lengthy intro ‘The Shape Of Perfection’ proves itself to be a huge sounding track that showcases the band’s ability to produce huge grooves in the vein of Lamb Of God, but with a progressive edge in the guitar riffing that brings to mind a cross between Meshuggah and Gojira. It’s an interesting mix of sounds and influences, but one that works in giving off a menacing and aggressive feel throughout, all the while retaining a strong sense of groove that’s both catchy and infectious.
The follow-up track ‘Ship Of Fools’ is on a little more familiar ground for the band with its added metallic edge on the guitar front and the odd interjection of Djent effects dotted throughout, while ‘Dissonant Dark Dance’ sees the band experimenting more on moody atmospherics within the song, which gives the overall effect of broadening their sound well beyond their former groove/melodic death metal foundation.
From here, the album rarely falls below the standard established with the first three tracks, with songs such as ‘Drifting Beyond Reality’ (One of my personal favourites on the album with its powerful choruses and crushing and intricate riffing), the speedy and technically inclined ‘The Shadows Collapse Within’, ‘Intersected To A Closer Premonition’ (Which brings to mind early Machine Head) and the lengthy closer ‘Coronation Of Existence’ (Where Rodrigues actually provides some clean vocals that really work well, and the guitars shine with some great melodic leads) highlighted as the album’s stand out cuts.
While some of the songs are a little on the longer side (Which inevitably means the album is a little too long as a whole), overall ‘The Road Of Awareness’ is a really impressive second effort from We Are Killing Ourselves, and one that fans of the groove metal genre should check out.

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© Justin Donnelly