There’s no easy way to start this review…. Brisbane’s Awaken I Am together have experienced one of life’s pure cruelties this being the loss of a loved one. Their latest offering The Beauty In Tragedy is a tribute to their fallen brother and band member Connor Verner-Oakley who was tragically taken from them in a car accident that could have been avoided.
Produced by Taylor Larson (The Word Alive, Asking Alexandria) The Beauty In Tragedy gives us five tracks each giving the listener a personal insight into the depths of emotions humans experience when having to deal with despair and heartache that comes with such a life changing event for those who are left to deal with it. The title of the release itself couldn’t have been created any better as it encapsulates everything that it is about.
Opener “Kin” has a driving rhythm section that is unknowingly catchy at first but before too long will stick in one’s head for days on end, it is furious and to the point. The chorus vocal by Jimmy Stevenson itself is nothing short of beautiful in sound and notation but lyrical content such as “it was the worst of you that took the best for me and now I’m left paying for your mistakes” speaks of the honest truth and suffering that has taken place since Conner’s death. Be sure to check out the film clip for this track, is it heartbreaking? YES is it heartfelt? HELL YES does it pay tribute? You already know it does!
“By Your Side” begins with a calm opening section that is actually the chorus as well and the verses offer rhythmic precision by Ryan Oxford (Bass) and Luke McKenzie (Drums) within the track, this making for a solid balance overall. Overall the backing effect really sets the mood on “By Your Side” and my belief is that it’s been purposely placed at the front of the sound to help achieve said mood.
Third track “Dissolution” was the last track the band had the honour of recording with Connor Verner-Oakley, when thought further that truth alone has to weigh heavy on any humans heart! The opening riff belts in like a freight train with its down stroke and bouncy vibes, my hope is that Ned Jankovic (Guitars) and (new member) Jay Sibthorpe (Guitar) give it the same attack live as it really is the stand out riff on this release. I have no doubt in my mind that this will be the case and that they will honour it for Connor, seriously the thought alone gives me goose bumps.
Throughout “Indifference” there is a collection of really solid vocal melodies and layered sections that again add to the emotion of the track and the release itself. The title of closer “The Stages of Grief” speaks for itself, like “Indifference” it delivers such heartfelt rhythmic feels that one can’t help but feel immured in it all, this feeling is present from beginning to end of The Beauty In Tragedy and has been executed in a very mature manner!
A tribute to a loved one who will never come home to his loved ones, The Beauty In Tragedy hit me right in the heart and the squeezed it to almost unbearable points!