Chasm marks the return of The Awakening, a band by prolific South African musician and producer Ashton Nyte, now based in California. The impression resulting from first listening to this album is strange, in the sense that for anyone who has loved bands such as Sisters Of Mercy, Fields Of The Nephilim and The Mission coming across the early arpeggios of Other Ghosts and Ashton’s deep voice proves to be a sort of homecoming, which however leaves at the end of this first pass a veil of perplexity due mainly to the seemingly excessive lightness and catchiness of the songs. Subsequent listens then become necessary for these ten songs to penetrate below the epidermis leaving the appropriate scars. Ashton has all the experience it takes to reshape his voice and adapt it to all the appropriate nuances of the proposed sound: deeper, between McCoy and Eldritch, in the rougher and more restless songs, more persuasive and evocative in the Murphy-Hussey quota when the songs become more airy and melodic. After all, Nyte possesses the necessary credentials to afford such references without appearing to be merely an excellent copyist, in light of the countless important collaborations he boasts throughout his 20-year career, punctuated by an abundant double-digit number of albums released under his own name or as The Awakening. Chasm is not an album that will go down in history, but it is also much more than just a pleasant listen: the essential coordinates of gothic rock are re-proposed without reluctance and in such a competent manner as to nullify any bad thoughts regarding the possible obsolescence of these sounds. Here, then, is the homecoming mentioned at the beginning, all the more welcome when the artist in question is not only good and brilliant in his own field, but has also been commendably on the front lines for years to combat any gender discrimination, so that, at least as far as I am concerned, the pleasure in listening to beautiful songs such as Shore, About You, Raphael Awake, Gave up the Ghost and Hear Me can only be reinforced

2018 – Independent