WADE BLACK’S ASTRONOMICA Album Review: “The Awakening”

“The Awakening”
Album Review by Iron Mathew


Wade Black’s Astronomica are a heavy metal band from the USA formed in 2023, releasing the bands debut album ‘The Awakening’ in 2024.

Founded by vocalist Wade Black (War Of Thrones, Chalice Of Sin, ex Crimson Glory, ex Seven Witches, ex Leatherwolf) and guitarist, bassist and keyboardist Rich Marks (War Of Thrones), the line-up for the album is completed by drummer Patrick Johansson (NorthTale, Final Strike) and guitarist Jim Fox (Worlds Divide) – the album consisting of ten songs across a lengthy fifty minutes! And in keeping with the rich heritage of Wade’s thirty years in the metal scene, ‘The Awakening’ is hard hitting, power driven heavy metal that’s gonna send listeners and mosh pits into fucking overdrive – clenched fists rising high in the air with heads rocking back and forth like there’s no tomorrow! Beginning the album, ‘Deceiver’ is a thunderous opener, mixing fast and mid tempo pace with a crushing aura that’s gonna make every single listener around the world sit up and take notice – the mildly aggressive vocals taking me a little by surprise!

And by aggressive I really mean snarling, for aggressive is much too strong a word to use here, the album marching on with the bolder, more anthemic ‘Protectors Of The Realm’ – a slight whiff of the Judas Priest power driven style of heavy metal rising high in the air. The band have delivered a barnstorming opening double, both songs screaming “listen to me” at every metalhead on the planet. And listen you will, for Wade Black’s Astronomica are hitting the sweet spot – and we’re only two songs in! Just imagine how fucking hard your sweet spot is gonna be hit by the time ‘The Awakening’ runs its course! Doesn’t bear thinking about does it? ‘Cause right now the album roars on with the progressive tinged ‘Destiny’, a gear changing tempo changing aural adventure to excite the senses and send pulses racing faster than a world champion sprinter going for glory! And maintaining the progressive nature of the previous song, ‘Monster’ also ups the ante with regards to heaviness, bludgeoning listeners round the head with an immense amount of force! The barrage of savagery – and again savagery is probably too strong a word – is stunning, the bands bold brand of heavy metal shuddering the ground and causing earthquakes to form all over the surface of planet Earth!

Wade Black’s Astronomica have been touring the entire heavy metal genre from the moment the album began, ‘The Awakening’ visiting every corner, nook and cranny to deliver a diverse range of metal anthems to an even more diverse range of listeners – and that includes rockers as well as the metallers of the world! ‘Hellwalker’ is one of those genre hopping songs that doesn’t care about limits and boundaries, the band broadening their musical horizons while keeping one foot firmly rooted in metal territory – ‘Darkness Falls’ clocking in at nearly seven minutes in length! The longest song on offer by the proverbial country mile, ‘Darkness Falls’ displays a slightly darker feel than everything heard up to this point, along with touches of the melancholic, balladry, and serenity of a hymn-like stroll! The band run the gamut of heavy metal with this one, changing texture and feel every step of the way – landing right back in metal territory with ‘Fate Of Faith’. And a touch of groove metal not heard before, along with the iconic guitar tone of the legendary NWOBHM, and melded with elements of progressive, alternative and Grunge! Wade Black’s Astronomica are beginning to defy pigeon-holing, refusing to be placed into just the one genre of metal, much preferring to explore numerous musical avenues to see what’s out there – a bewildering array of metal styles that’s what! And they’re all here, on one CD entitled ‘The Awakening’…

…which is a fairly apt title as you’re all gonna be awakened by the sheer variety on offer, especially your ears, each and every song tickling them to the point of ecstasy! And appearing on the album for, I believe the first time, is the traditional metal gallop courtesy of ‘Chasing After’ – the familiar chug of old school heavy metal rising to the surface! The band are relentless in their pursuit of heavy metal heaven, intent on taking every listener, fan and follower with them – and like lambs we’re all gonna follow! ‘Cause the metal on offer here is just so damn infectious, ‘Letter From Hell’ maintaining the albums incredible intensity – intensity which has remained intact since the album began. I tell ya readers, lesser metalheads are gonna be reaching for the headache relieving tablets right now (or even earlier than this), while the diehard among us are standing tall, willing the band to hit us with more! And more they do, in the shape of the albums final hurrah ‘Sirens’ – the first two minutes, power balladry of the tallest order followed by an anthemic thunderstorm that belies a ballad, Wade Black’s Astronomica turning the heat way up by eventually planting their feet firmly on the monitor to canter on to a finish. What a glorious song to end a glorious album.

Overall, a full on album of heavy metal with sky high infectious and intensity levels and an insane amount of head bang ability.


Protectors Of The Realm
Darkness Falls
Fate Or Faith
Chasing After
Letter From Hell


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