Months after exclusively being available on physical form – an excellent and genius strategy that more in this industry should abide by, in my humble opinion – one of Newcastle’s finest acts Fallen Mafia recently made their debut album Awaken finally available to the public in full glory.

Following the uneasy War intro with its brutal dose of reality, we get treated to a selection of pretty good energetic tunes built around some great and memorable choruses like the high-octane Breathe and the title track, whilst others showcase these cool, distinctly rugged rhythms such as BurnHeads Up and How The Story Ends.

In certain cases, there are often elements shining through that add a little extra meat. For example, Don’t Look Back has a cracking acoustic intro, and Asylum is particularly captivating on a lyrical level.

But the irrefutable stand out has to be Life’s A Dance, which rolls the pace down for something with an underlying sense of aggression that hits the frontline through the rigid guitars and Hannah’s ferocious vocal capacity.

The production could have benefited from a freshen up in spots where it can be noticeably a bit rough around the edges, and admittedly this is a slow burner, for it takes a few songs to get to the tastier material.

While not quite reaching full potential, Awaken is nevertheless a satisfying collection with more than enough sweet qualities that will have not much bother drawing in dedicated rock fans of all kinds, and it does exactly what a debut album should do: put the band’s capable talents on display and let them flourish.

It’s just a case of stepping it up another notch for the next round, and ideally answering the important question of what makes Fallen Mafia different from everyone else on the scene.


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