Before Ricky Patel worked on his debut album he was a producer working for other musicians. It was around late 2020 when he decided to make his own music and started to work on his debut album entitled Silent Awakening. Patel mentions the album “features nine songs that aim to take listeners on a journey through cinematic soundscapes, electronic ambience and poppy hooks, fused to the backbone of modern progressive rock.”
The album begins with an intro called “Nil.” It’s a minimalistic and serene track that revolves around piano and ocean waves. It put me in a reflective mood. The energy significantly changes on the next song called “The Maw” where we hear a grinding sub bass, slick sounding drums and an overall cinematic and slightly ominous soundscape. There are more elements which come in like piano and guitar. The vocals enter and the song had a slight ’90s goth flavor to me which melds elements of rock and electronica. The orchestral flourishment was a nice touch but make no mistake about this song - it also rocks. It’s an epic song and I already have high expectations for the production and man does this track take you on a ride of different colors, tones and textures.
“Pilot Dread” is next. This felt like an accessible song and one of the more single-worthy ones. The hook is memorable. Patel sings “We find ourselves In different shoes / To walk the line in /Hide in our shell / A metal suit / Built to repel / The rounds they're firing.” The song hits some impressive highs and soars through with a vibrant luminosity.
“Thick Fog To Spill The Light” is all about the atmosphere. The song surrounds you and the stereo width is huge. There’s no lack of crescendos that reach for the heavens on this song. “Glasspane” still has all the atmospheric elements but parts of this song sounded very intimate. I did notice a pattern however. Patel seems to enjoy expanding the width of a song to make it feel epic and this song is no exception.
“Ritual Ink” is more experimental. It sounds like a sustained choral section at first which focuses on one note. Light shimmers around this crystal palace One of the most beautiful moments on the album comes around the two-minute mark. There’s some incredible production on “Matador” especially whatever kind of splicing technique was happening with the vocals while “Noct / Of Kin” has one of the best grooves on the album which comes closest to sounding like a mix between shoegaze and post-rock. Patel closes with “The Prow” which has a robotic effect on the vocals that is supported by clean guitars, a robust bass line and a driving beat. The song expands and might be the most epic sounding song yet.
The words on this page don’t do these songs justice. There’s so much going on here on this album and the scale is huge. Patel is an incredibly talented producer but it’s the songwriting on top of that makes this album a gem. Recommended.
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