PHENOMENA – Awakening +1 (2024 Remastered Version) *HQ*

PHENOMENA - Awakening +1 (2024 Remastered Version) *HQ* lossless - full

If you are a long time Melodic Hard Rock fan, you already know Tom Galley’s PHENOMENA project, then there’s little to explain about the breadth and depth of it’s caliber. There’s nearly 40 years of musical history here, and after many years with PHENOMENA on hiatus in the 2010’s Galley returned with the project and fresh rock-star collaborators.
Awakening” is the 6th Phenomena album originally released 2012, and now Escape Music are reissuing a 2024 Remastered Version of the album – a much need remaster as the record suffered from some muddy sound. Now “Awakening” sounds much, much better!
Oppositely to the Phenomena saga, “Awakening” follows no concept in relation to the previous albums, but has in common the presence of the best vocalists and musicians from the Melodic Hard Rock / AOR scene.
Take note: Terry Brock (Strangeways), James Christian (House Of Lords), Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear), Lee Small (Shy), Toby Hitchcock (Pride Of Lions), Mike DiMeo (Riot, Masterplan), Mike Slamer (Steelhouse Lane), Rob Moratti (ex-Saga), Mat Sinner (Sinner, Primal Fear), Steve Newman (Newman) and the mighty Tommy Denander. WOW…

Quality flows throughout this record. As one would expect with Martin Kronlund as musical director it sounds great and is one of early 2012’s more uplifting releases, a truly enjoyable Melodic Rock / AOR fare from start to end.
Opener “Smash It Up” has a commercial AOR vibe still retaining the classic Phenomena atmosphere (thanks to ‘those’ keyboards) and a melodic guitar solo by Magnus Karlsson. As usual Toby Hitchcock sings the life out of “Reality”, which also features some lovely guitar work from Mike Slamer.

Another amazing melodic rock soaring track is the Terry Brock led “Fighter” which has Brock doing his best Jim Jamison impersonation, great anthem tune with a nice chorus and bridge. Awesome song. The excellent Canadian Rob Moratti contributes on the smooth rock ballad “Homeland”, making me even more anxious to hear his new album with his former band Final Frontier very soon.
Lee Small drops some fantastic vocal lines on the power rhythm of the prime number “How Long”, while the shattering rock steady vibes of “Shake” amps up the noise with vocals courtesy of shouter Mike Dimeo.
Interestingly, Ralf Scheepers, a notable metal singer, gets the more groove rock of “Gotta Move”. Rather than sounding out of his element, Scheepers sounds terrific.

“Stand Up For Love”, the lightest piece here, and perhaps the most curious, has a nice Euro westcoast / rock&pop feel featuring the smooth vocals of Swede Chris Antblad and the Java Gospel Choir. An inspiring sweet song.
The original Japanese bonus track “Jaguar” is a melodic hard rocker driven by a hot guitar and a persistent keyboard, featuring cool vocal parts by Reist Reto (Skansis) in the vein of Casanova or Last Autumn’s Dream’s Mikael Erlandsson.

“Awakening” doesn’t follows the concept of the previous Phenomena albums, nor stylistically. But it’s a damn good Melodic Hard Rock / AOR album with a modern sound and a clear nod to the ’80s.
Features excellently written powerful songs brilliantly executed by some of the finest musicians of the scene, making this a hugely enjoyable CD. It boasts a fine production (now enhanced by this 2024 remaster) from Tom Galley and Martin Kronlund through 11 straight ahead rockers with catchy melodies along with up-tempo ballads and beautiful choruses.
Highly Recommended


1. Smash It Up
Lee Small: Vocals, Mat Sinner: Bass, Magnus Karlsson: Lead Guitars

2. Reality
Toby Hitchcock: Vocals, Mike Slamer: Lead Guitars

3. Homeland
Rob Moratti: Vocals, Martin Kronlund: all Guitars

4. Going Away
James Christian: Vocals, Tommy Denander: Guitars

5. Gotta Move
Ralf Scheepers: Vocals, Christian Wolff & Tommy Denander: Guitars

6. How Long
Lee Small: Vocals, Martin Kronlund: Guitars

7. Shake
Mike DiMeo: Vocals, Martin Kronlund: Guitars

8. Fighter
Terry Brock: Vocals, Steve Newman: Guitars and backing vocals

9. Dancing Days
Niklas Swedentorp: Lead Vocals with all Coldspell members

10. Stand Up For Love
Chris Antblad: Vocals, with JAVA Gospel Choir

11. Jaguar [original Japan Bonus Track]
Reist Reto: Vocals


Martin Kronlund (guitar and bass)
Steve Newman (guitar, backing vocals)
Tommy Denander (guitar)
Mike Slamer (guitar)
Magnus Karlsson (guitar)
Mat Sinner (bass)
Tom Harlan (guitar, keyboards)
Imre Daun (drums)
Henrik Thomsen (bass)
Per Aronson-Andersson (keyboards)
Carl Anthony Wright (guitar)
Reist Reto (Vocals)
Christian Wolff (guitar)
Fredrik Bergh (keyboards)
Heiniger Beat (guitar)



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