Amadeus Awad - Death Is Just A Feeling
Label: Melodic Revolution Records
Reviewer: Black Cat - 2015-08-11
Progressive Rock is full of limitless possibilities and the maestro never seems to get tired of proving this. Emboldened by the presence of no other than the Progressive guru Arjen Lucassen (AYREON, GUILT MACHINE, THE GENTLE STORM...), and armed by the most sought-after female voice of Anneke Van Giersbergen (ex-THE GATHERING, AGUA DE ANNIQUE, THE GENTLE STORM), AMADEUS AWAD explodes into an album that sounds, feels and even taste like a unified soundscape of darkness. The way the album is constructed is very bold, it is all built around a center point of real events, and it can capture the listener very fast and throw them into a vortex. I lost my breath throughout the experience. You cannot but look at the album as a whole, you cannot separate an element and elaborate, this makes it near impossible to talk about the individual songs.
The opus opens with the song "Opia", featuring Arjen Lucassen announcing the story in reverse, and great 70’s synthesizers take us into the wild imagination of Awad, a real imagination of real events. The almost epic opening breaks into a deep voice of a narrator (the British radio presenter Dan Harper), making confessions and letting out dark secrets that reflect the general mood of the album. The voice takes us into the next chapter where a short, positive passage that reflects melancholy opens with an acoustic guitar that becomes a signature sound for the album, and Anneke Van Giersbergen begins to sing. This is where my lungs could not take it anymore.
As "Opia" ends, a hunting keyboard riff announces the start of Progressive Rock epicness at its finest, with Marco Minnemann (EPHEL DUATH, JOE SATRIANI...) bending every possible rule in the drumming dictionary; "Sleep Paralysis" lives up to its name, it is dark, powerful and intimidating, with amazing Hammond work. And once you think that it is time to take a breath, the deep voice of Dan Harper starts asking questions and the sounds start bursting and evolving into a very mad instrumental peace of greatness. Acoustic guitars here are the center of an insane passage, this is a "Monday Morning" like never before. And then comes my personal favorite, it is a hunting, melodic and extremely effective song: "Tomorrow Lies" has everything you’d expect from Awad and much more. Huge sounding synthesizers, amazing acoustic arpeggios, tons of slide guitar and an epic and unusual orchestral breakdown, all locked together with the drumming of Jimmy Keegan and topped by the voice of Elia Monsef; this, in my opinion, is the best time I’ve ever heard Elia sing, enough said. In the next movement, Anneke strikes back, "Lonesome Clown" is the longest and best song on the album, it is weird, sad and beautiful, I have to mention here that the guitar work on this one is top notch, the solo section is heartbreaking and wonderfully expressive. And then comes the big finale, with a pop sounding, early progressive inheritance, Arjen Lucassen tells us that all is "Temporary"; the song is very different from the rest of the opus, it is open and positive and takes you back from your journey to a realistic ending, the song features an amazing closure by Amadeus, probably his longest and best guitar solo.
It is very hard to conclude the review of this masterpiece, it is, in my opinion, a complete work, the best I heard from the progressive mind of AMADEUS AWAD, his best composition, his best lyrics and the best selection of artists; he is a true electric messiah. If you want to embrace your darkness, if you want to touch your inner demons and mingle with them, look no further, "Death Is Just A Feeling" is your home.