It’s currently ten minutes shy of 2AM as I write the review to this album, so the opening track “Insomniacs Unite” probably couldn’t be more appropriate. Anyway, enough of my sleep issues, here I am sat in the company of the new release from Seattle alt-pop quartet Awaken The Empire and, having given it a few spins, it’s fair to say that their incredible, catchy alt-rock meets pop is going to be rattling round my head as I try and get a few hours sleep.

Slick is the first word that springs to mind as I sit here listening to this collection of songs as, throughout the album, tracks like “Cruel World” and “Rise & Fall” pummel the senses with their powerful mix of electronics, pristine vocals, and pop hooks. Damien Lawson leads from the front with a soaring set of pipes to match the crystal clear, flawless pop-rock peddled by his Seattle bandmates. Elsewhere on Aurora there are moments where the band explore avenues inhabited by the likes of Nine Inch Nails, while there are also other more dramatic moments (see “A Tribute To Rome”) where their sound veers more towards material you’d be expecting from someone like 30 Seconds To Mars.

Aurora is an album that many have compared to a movie soundtrack and it’s easy to see where that comparison comes from, such is the variety of moods explored on this recording. However, like a good percentage of movies these days, there are moments when your attention does start to wander but, thankfully, there are just enough of those damn infectious pop-hooks to make sure it doesn’t wander too far.

Track Listing:

01. Insomniacs Unite
02. Cruel World
03. We Control the Lights
04. Messy
05. I’m Not Invisible
06. Cross My Heart
07. Rise + Fall
08. Saviour
09. Nevermind
10. A Tribute to Rome
11. Heavy Is the Head That Wears the Crown
12. Holding My Breath
13. Ashes
14. For Never For Always

Run Time: 55:34
Release Date: July 24, 2015

Check out the song “Cross My Heart” here.


I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.