Godsmack Awake vinyl

Godsmack – Awake (Remastered Vinyl Edition Review)

At this point, Godsmack are one of the most recognized names to have emerged in Hard Rock over the last two decades. Selling millions of records, topping charts, and performing in stadiums to thousands, how many are aware the band may have ended before it even started? Initially launched back in 1995 by Sully Erna, traditionally working as a drummer, and after years of being a part of other bands, he opted to start his own, but this time as the lead singer.

A bold step forward, Erna assembled a group of musicians and put in the work to build something from the ground up. Already tried many times before starting Godsmack, the early years of his new band were not paved with gold, and a few times it could have all fallen apart. However, due to determination, and the fact that Godsmack at something intangible, in June of 1998 they signed up with Republic/Universal Records. A monumental achievement, they were finally playing with the big boys, and released their first single “Whatever.” Ironically, their self-released All Wound Up (which they often times sold out of the trunk of a car), was all but essentially repacked for mass distribution, without even being re-recorded, and became the 1998 debut album that everyone knows, loves, and has sold multi-millions of copies.

Truly an amazing story, Godsmack went platinum in less than two years, and made the band one of the hottest acts on the scene with massively popular hits like “Whatever,” “Keep Away,” “Voodoo,” and “Bad Religion.” At this point putting a ton of pressure on the band to keep the momentum going – because many others have flared up, but quietly fizzle out – they went to work and created perhaps the most significant record of their career. Dubbed Awake, and released on Halloween in 2000, the album was amply titled as a recognition that after years of hard work,  audiences were finally aware of Godsmack’s existence and eager for more.

Steering clear of a sophomore jinx, Godsmack made a bold statement with Awake, resulting in its debut at number five on the Billboard 200, plus selling over 200,000 copies in the first week alone! Impressive, what was even more astounding is that Awake not only threw more gas on Godsmack’s fire, but paved the way for three consecutive number one albums; 2003’s Faceless, 2006’s IV, followed by 2010’s The Oracle. So, historically you could say that if it were not for Awake, Godsmack may have never experienced the fame which has driven them forward all these years later. That is why it is fantastic to see the album celebrated in 2024 with a reissue on vinyl.

Released on May 17th through Republic/Universal Records, this marks the first time ever that Awake is available in a vinyl format, which is exciting, because many fans might be itching to have it a part of their collection. Piggy-backing off the issuing of ‘98s Godsmack in October of 2023, it goes without saying that owning a selection of music on vinyl is something special; because it allows you to take the time to sit down, explore liner notes, and simply enjoy the music. Very much a ritualistic appreciation, in terms of Awake, you get the original album in a 2LP pressing that is avaliable either in standard black or a really nice transparent green limited-edition color. Each set has the 11 tracks originally featured a part of Awake on sides A through C, but side D has a really beautiful etching of the Godsmack tribal sun logo.

Moreover, not only is this the first time you can own Awake on vinyl, it is also presented in a remastered format. Something that should strike the curiosity of some listeners, it is safe to say that it sounds as crisp and powerful as ever before. All packaged in a gatefold sleeve, it is a classy way to celebrate Awake, plus add another milestone to Godsmack’s story. Speaking of which, the band released Lighting Up the Sky in February of 2023, and it is also a fantastic new collection of songs. What is said to be their final studio album, Godsmack do continue to rock out live; with an extensive plan of touring this summer into the fall with Nothing More. A bill not to miss, looking into picking up a copy of Awake on vinyl should also be on fan’s lists. That is why Cryptic Rock gives the first ever vinyl release of Awake 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

Godsmack Awake vinyl
Godsmack – Awake / Republic/Universal 

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