Mudface – Awaken To A Different Sun

Rating: 3.5/5
Released: 2019
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Band Line-up:

Brett Crane – Keys, Vocals
Chris Dinsmore – Vocals
Aaron McCoy – Guitars
Jim Pegram – Bass
Tim Davis – Drums


1. End Of My Rope
2. Awaken To A Different Sun
3. Snakes
4. Rabbit Hole
5. Warhorse


Mudface are a metal band on Art Gates Records, who spawned from the world famous Bay Area Thrash scene. They have industrial, punk, thrash, groove metal and classic metal influences and are notable for their intense and dynamic live shows, making them very popular in their local area. Their new album ‘Awaken To A Different Sun’ was released throughout the world on June 28th. 

This band certainly have a thunderous rhythm section. Speedy riffs with lots of attitude, mix with alternating, surprisingly thoughtful sounding, yet dark plodding lines. Sometimes they have contrasting, higher pitched guitar arpeggios/lead parts on top of them, making a full and satisfying sound. The way the very human and tasteful drums loosely lock in with everything turns what would normally be thought of as safe and unadventurous music into material that is a lot of fun. It would be nice if things were more complicated at times as the repeated power chords and chugging can get a bit much, but not significantly. If you want a proper riff-fest experience with intelligent developments, huge variety and above all, catchiness, you will be better off buying classic Megadeth/Metallica if you haven’t already.

The more thrashy sections of ’Snakes’ are highlights, partly because the guitars experiment with a reasonable variety of tones (as opposed to staying on root notes) whilst keeping up the energy and without coming across as self-indulgent. That’s something to be respected, as often more notey ideas can be distracting and make the music sound too guitar based, creating an illusion that the other instruments aren’t as important and therefore almost making the sound thinner, you could say. Well sort of. ’Warhorse’ is a little simpler, but just as effective at pumping the adrenaline. As always, the busy, creative and grooving drums only heighten the sense of power. These guys aren’t all about mindless blast beats. The drummer expertly makes use of the whole kit and only when appropriate.

In conclusion, the faster parts of this album are arguably the best. The relatively slow parts aren’t bad, but they lack truly interesting melodies that are often needed to make up for the lack of excitement. The singer’s tunes are kind of average, but his delivery is quite powerful, without being at all operatic and cheesy. The occasional flashy guitar solos are pretty good, but they don’t sound 100% confident in the way expert leads do, but that’s a nitpick. This music is very enjoyable for the most part, but it could be developed more. This music is recommended for thrash fans in general, but it’s certainly not as intense as many speed metal artists, if that’s what you’re into.

Review by Simon Wiedemann
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