The Awakening / Virgina Black Lung 'Sea of Steel' split 7"
A1 –Awakening, The The Front Wheel
A2 –Awakening, The The Back Wheel
B1 –Virgina Black Lung Architects Of Terror
B2 –Virgina Black Lung Peoples Mantra // We Are The Ones...
B3 –Virgina Black Lung When The Fallow Fields Lie Rotting With Wheat You Will Know The True Price You Pay For Your Plate
B4 –Virgina Black Lung Hope
"So, the "Sea of Steel" split 7" series continues with more tales promoting the bicycle. The Awakening kicks things off with one lengthy track of strong metallic hardcore/punk with some of that His Hero is Gone-ish discordance and rhythmic intensity. The vocals are flat out yelled and there are some nice tradeoffs/backups going on in areas. The track, titled "The Front and Back Wheel", is sort of divided into two parts ("Front" and "Back"), separated only by some feedback, and the latter half is definitely slower and darker, breaking off some awesome melodies that include very significant basslines. They've got a slick sound as well, with a balanced mix and a good dose of clarity. I've got no complaints there. Virginia Blacklung takes Side B with four tracks of dirty hardcore/punk that's much more caustic and frantic. The vocals are scathing screams and most of the guitar parts have a lot of dissonant and abrasive textures going on, without neglecting to pay attention to occasional melody. The production isn't bad, it's a little gritty, but appropriately so, and I'm not annoyed by the slight ruggedness involved. The 7" comes in a nice matte sleeve with one color printing on the outer cover and black and white elsewhere. The lyrics are inside and both bands deal with socio-political issues, The Awakening taking a more literal approach to dealing with bicycles, and Virginia Blacklung speaking out more directly against the war, etc. At one point just before "Hope" there's even a spoken passage unloading a scathing attack on the current situation in Iraq. Also included is a small red insert with some bizarre "Termination Sequence" reports printed on it, as well as a large xeroxed booklet that has a few columns and whatnot that generally deal with bikes in one form or another. As I mentioned in a review from earlier in this series, I'm not exactly a bicycle enthusiast, but I can respect these individuals' interests and passions regarding the topic. Musically Virginia Blacklung doesn't do all that much for me, granted I don't dislike them, but The Awakening makes this a keeper in my book. (6/10)" - Aversionline