1. Smash It Up
2. Reality
3. Homeland
4. Going Away
5. Gotta Move
6. How Long
7. Shake
8. Fighter
9. Dancing Days
10. Stand Up For Love

Martin Kronlund (Guitars & Bass)
Tom Harlan (Guitars & Keyboards)
Imre Daun (Drums)
Henrik Thomsen (Bass)
Per Aronson-Andersson (Hammond, keyboards & JAVA Gospel on 10)

Phenomena (1984)
Phenomena II: Dream Runner (1987)
Phenomena III: Inner Vision (1993)
Phenomena Project X 1985-1996 (compilation album - partly remixed, 1997)
Psychofantasy (2006)
Blind Faith (2010)

Mat Sinner (Bass on 1)
Magnus Karlsson (Guitars on 1)
Lee Small (Vocals on 1 & 6)
Fredrik Bergh (Keyboards on 1 & 5)
Toby Hitchcock (Vocals on 2)
Mike Slamer (Guitars on 2)
Rob Moratti (Vocals on 3)
Martin Kronlund (Guitars on 3, 4, 6 & 7)
James Christian (Vocals on 4)
Tommy Denander (Guitars on 4 & 5)
Christian Wolff (Guitars on 5)
Ralf Scheepers (Vocals on 5)
Mike DiMeo (Vocals on 7)
Steve Newman (Guitars & backing vocals on 8)
Terry Brock (Vocals on 8)
All COLDSPELL members (on 9)
Niklas Swedentorp (Vocals on 9)
Chris Antblad with JAVA Gospel Choir (Vocals on 10)
Carl Anthony Wright (Guitars)

Produced by: Tom Galley and Martin Kronlund
Recorded and engineered by Martin Kronlund
Executive Producer: Khalil Turk

Released 23/3-2012
Reviewed 25/7-2012


I'll start this review by name dropping heavily, so hold on to your horses here: Mat Sinner (3, 4, 4, 5 and 6 points by Hallowed on the albums 'Crash & Burn', 'New Religion', 'Kimbal Jamison', 'Scheepers' and 'Unbreakable'), Magnus Karlsson (4, 4, 4, 5, 5 and 6 points by Hallowed on the albums 'Renaissance Of Fools', 'The Showdown', 'New Religion', 'The Storm', 'Scheepers' and 'Unbreakable'), Lee Small (4 and 5 points by Hallowed on the albums 'Jamaican Inn' and 'Shy'), Fredrik Bergh (4 and 5 points by Hallowed on the albums 'Changes' and 'Victory'), Toby Hitchock (5 points by Hallowed on the album 'Mercury's Down' and also good reviews in the first edition of Hallowed with pride Of Lions), Mike Slamer (4 points by Hallowed on the album 'Rhyme And Reason'), Rob Moratti (5 points by Hallowed on the album 'Victory'), James Christian (5 points by Hallowed on the album 'Big Money'), Tommy Denander (3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5 & 5 points by Hallowed on the albums 'Undeniable', 'Houston', 'Rhyme And Reason', 'Solid', 'Sencelled', 'Marching On Timeless Tales' 'Williams Friestedt' and 'Victory' and also good reviews in the first edition of Hallowed with Radioactive), Christian Wolff (3 and 5 points by Hallowed on the albums 'Undeniable' and 'Victory'), Ralf Scheepers (4, 5 and 6 points by Hallowed on the albums 'New Religion', 'Scheepers' and 'Unbreakable'), Mike DiMeo (4, 4 and 5 points by Hallowed on the albums 'Genetic Memory', Channeling The Infinite' and 'Tears Of White Roses'), Steve Newman (4 and 4 points by Hallowed on the albums 'Big Life' and 'Under Southern Skies'), the full line-up of Coldspell (5 points by Hallowed on the album 'Out From The Cold') and the beside these Niklas Swedentorp, Terry Brock, Carl Anthony Wright and Chris Antblad with JAVA gospel choir. This is only the guestlist of this sixth Phenomena album, called 'Awakening' and it's a band of brothers whom has gathered an impressing total score of 170 points and an average of 4,47 out of 7 (which is almost half a point above the Hallowed average) from the albums they've been on that Hallowed has reviewed during the last five years. But that's just the guests - there's also the band which has made and written all the material which are all good musicians. The real question is not wether this is good or not, it is how this possibly couldn't be.

Already back in 1984, when Phenomena were started by their mastermind Tom Galley, this was nothing but a real super project. The names on the musicians that featured on the first albums are remarkable as it was musicians with a past in truly titanic bands and all five Phenomena albums that has come since has made the same impression with musicians in the absolute elite of rock and hard rock. The names on 'Awakening' might not bring the same legendaric tone today as the first couple of albums do, but then again, back when 'Phenomena' was released the musicians that featured then were not the icons they are today so I can't see why it couldn't do that in the future. To be chosen as a featured vocalist or musician in the Phenomena project is really starting to become a thing that no dignified musician can deny, which is why the quality on the music is what it is. We're not talking amateurs here. But… I have to raise this question either way. It's gone 28 years, they have musicians that no rock- or hard rocker could dignified admit not to know about and six albums, yet I know very few out there have actually heard this band, and I also know that it's not too many more that knew they even existed. So how could we miss it?

Honestly, I have no good answers to that question, but getting to 'Awakening' I think it's safe to say that all of you out there that doesn't have complete knowledge in this band should look them up asap if you have any form of preference towards melodic rock, rock, AOR or softer, melodic hard rock. And I'm serious about that! This album delivers everything that melodic rock music stand for and they wrap it up nicely into a simple package on 40 minutes where they've even manage to put a cheesy love hymn in the style of We Are The World. They've even managed to get a complete gospel choir to sing with them, just to really give us that true buttery feeling. I'd say the album has quality enough to feed the world, because most songs are clearly above average, some even absolutely excellent, but there are also a pair of less impressing ones, like the already mentioned gospel and the strange Fighter. These does not have the same quality as the rest and frankly I wonder what they were thinking when they included them, but they are quite original so they have some value in that.

Overall, though, this is a really good album and if you follow my advice and go for Phenomena, you'll get an album that's absolutely top of the line, with musicians that's absolutely top of the line and vocalists that's absolutely top of the line. The top of the line hit songs might be missing, but that's not changing the fact that 'Awakening' is an album you should… ney, MUST look further into if you're a fan of melodic rock music. There's just no alternative if you like this music.



Label: Escape Music/Connecting Music
Three similar bands: Shy/Toby Hitchcock/Rob Moratti
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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