[4 October 2006]
PopMatters Contributing Editor
If you give your band a name as obvious as Bludgeon, you had better deliver the goods musically, and for the first three songs on their second album, the Chicago band churns out a passable version of metalcore that leans a little more toward the hardcore side. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for repetition to set in, as all the mid-tempo beats, crunching riffs, and uncharismatic vocals begin to deaden the senses. “Awakening” is a valiant attempt at death metal blastbeats, but the production by Joey DiMaio (that’s right, the dude from Manowar) is stale at best, rendering what should be a punishing album into something as brutal as a Nerf ball.