“I’m back from the dead, I’m about to raise hell. Out of my coma, I’m ready to show you that season of my life is done.” So taunts Kyle Nicolaides at the start of Are You Real?, the new Beware of Darkness album and the front man’s biggest and boldest statement yet. As a saw-toothed, satin guitar riff slices into a crunching groove, the song serves as an urgent call to arms for not only the singer but for the band’s sound as well, heralding a new direction in more of an alternative lane than the hard rock of the band’s past. But the rebirth runs far deeper than riffs, as Nicolaides’s journey since the release of his band’s debut album, Orthodox, in 2013 has come full circle after trolling depths and slugging through the bleak. Are You Real? is the story of how a rock star on the rise fought uncertainty and disillusionment to avoid flaming out, lead the band, and come through the other side, revitalized and focused, with the best songs of his young career.