GREAT AWAKENING is an old-school thrash band from Florida. Brothers Nick, Vinnie and Brandon Butera and their high school friend, vocalist/guitarist Ryan Kenyan, draw their influences from METALLICA, SLAYER and MEGADETH. But their musical chops exceed their influences.
These guys can play thrash. And it’s not just a retro or a rehash of the ’80s thrash scene. They bring a highly technical-yet-modern approach to their sound. Drummer Nick plays tight and fast. He is a syncopated monster behind the kit. Guitarist Vinnie shreds, and bassist Brandon gets a chance to shine with his funky plunking, most notably on “Hit N Run.” Ryan’s commanding vocals sounds like a cross between Mille Petrozza of KREATOR and Jeff Paulick of LAZARUS A.D., but with more melody.
Their 2009 self-released three-song demo, Hit N Run, will have you banging your head and throwing the horns … fully amazed at their musicianship. Speed, aggression and a full-on assault are what GREAT AWAKENING is all about. A haunting piano intro on opener “XIII” is nice touch before they unleash some fierce riffage. After repeated listens, I am left craving more songs from GREAT AWAKENING than just the three that are on Hit N Run.
I expect big things from GREAT AWAKENING. If they can keep the momentum going, I see them being signed soon. Check them out and make your own decision, but thrash fans will notice the sheer speed, technicality and potential this young band brings on this demo. This is a thrashaholic’s dream.
By Kelley Simms