(as Cadence is still print-only, we can't link to their review. But here's what they said in their 2017 Annual Edition review of volume i: this is not the answer.

One hesitates to use the term “third-stream” when describing that in-between music that runs the gamut of style. The term may fit The Awakening Orchestra, but it simultaneously erodes a description of musical depth that this group displays. Led by composer/arranger/conductor Kyle Saulnier, The Awakening Orchestra’s first major recording presents a double disc release of more than 100 minutes of stunning music. The 20-piece orchestra is a hybrid group with a jazz big-band instrumentation at its core. Their sound is a little less easy to define. It exists in that space between Charles Mingus, Carla Bley, and Maria Schneider. There is also plenty of influence from the worlds of classical and Hollywood music. The opening piece, “Prelude & Fanfare: The Prophet,” kicks the
album off with a melodic fragment from a saxophone that is artistically shaded by vibraphone and muted trumpet. The resonance gives way to a drum beat that sets the groove for the rest of the piece. Almost reminiscent of crime jazz and other 1960s movie music (except funkier), the piece could easily fit into a Marlon Brando movie. Saulnier’s more serious compositional chops are displayed on “The Words, They Fail to Come.” The piece begins slowly as a duet between the baritone saxophone and piano as the other musicians gradually fade in. The pauses in each phrase provide a powerful contrast with the brass’s authoritative entrances. The piece also features exceptional solo work from Gutauskas and Boscarino. The second disc begins with an orchestration of Brahms’ “Intermezzo Op. 118, No. 2.” Not only is it a fantastic arrangement, but it is clear that Saulnier has assembled an exceptional group of musicians. Saulnier doesn’t take any shortcuts in his arrangements, but the musicians rise to the challenge of its difficulty. The second disc also takes on a more nuanced and mellower feel than the exciting nature of the first disc. It contains the four-movement title track “This Is Not the Answer.” In it, Saulnier’s compositional paintbrush is his colorful use of orchestration. Pairing flute and muted trumpet to present melodies alongside harmonies shared by piano, trombone, and tenor saxophone make for some spectacular moments. Recorded in New Haven in 2012, this is easily one of the best large ensemble albums recorded in recent memory. Look for The Awakening Orchestra’s sophomore album to be released at the end of 2016.
— Dustin Mallory, Cadence Magazine, Annual Review 2017