Album Review: Upcdownc – I, Awake (Self Released)


17 tracks long & coming in at 53 minutes, I, Awake by Upcdownc is a journey filled with horror themed progressive melody, unusual effects & sludgy rock. The album is out on September 22nd 2017.

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Opening with a creepy melody that wouldn’t sound out of place in a Fulci zombie flick, the album bursts into life with Am I Awake? – Part 2. Huge riffs, echoing bass & thumping drums make their mark before Am I Awake? – Part 3 drops into soft & hauntingly emotional melody. This is followed up by the sludgy groove efforts of Am I Awake? Part 4. The way each part flows makes them feel like 1 whole track (which essentially, they are) but each part offers something new & fascinating.

Continuing the journey feel of the album, Wake comes in four parts too. Part 1 and 2 leave a resounding feeling of despair with dark melody & interesting effects. While the ticking clock of part 3 leads into another slice of furious sludgy metal.

It’s very hard to describe I, Awake because of just how many different styles are showcased. It has got groove, it’s hard & heavy, it’s layered with melody, it’s progressive as hell, it’s got serious swampy sludge but it all equals to a fantastic album.

Some tracks barely last a couple of minutes, such as the first two parts of Adrift. While others go over the 6-minute mark. Adrift – Part 3 is one such song with its spacey effects & one-note tune that picks up in rhythm as it goes on. It shouldn’t be good but it’s really good!

The undercurrent of horror throughout really is something special. The melodies, the effects, the riffs are the soundtrack to a classic horror movie. It conjures up images of gore & violence, of innocent blood shed & monsters reigning supreme.

As great as the heavier moments are, Upcdownc understand melody & how it can make you feel all manner of emotions. The 2 parts of Looming offer contrasting styles but built around simply stunning melody that amazes & inspires.

Wrapping up with oppressive & doom-like levels of heaviness, Foreboding – Part 1 goes for the jugular before part 2 ensures you’re ending the journey with a tear in your eye. The last song is an epic in every sense of the word. Coming in at over 15 minutes long, Black Dracula is the culmination of everything heard so far. Gorgeous melody, unique effects, proggy guitars & skull-crushing levels of heaviness. A hell of a finish.

An incredibly imaginative effort from Upcdownc. One that you won’t forget anytime soon. Such a pleasurable listening experience & one that can proudly take its place as one of the best albums of 2017.

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Upcdownc – I, Awake Full Track Listing:

1. Am I Awake? – Part 1
2. Am I Awake? – Part 2
3. Am I Awake? – Part 3
4. Am I Awake? – Part 4
5. Awake – Part 1
6. Awake – Part 2
7. Awake – Part 3
8. Awake – Part 4
9. Adrift – Part 1
10. Adrift – Part 2
11. Adrift – Part 3
12. Adrift – Part 4
13. Looming – Part 1
14. Looming – Part 2
15. Foreboding – Part 1
16. Foreboding – Part 2
17. Black Dracula

Head over to Bandcamp to order the album as well as pick up previous work from Upcdownc. You can find out much more about the band on Facebook, Twitter, their website & YouTube.

Upcdownc - I, Awake (Self Released)
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    The Final Score - 9.5/10
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