Awaken the Guardian has been reissued several times. The first was as part of a double album with No Exit in 1992, followed by a remastered edition in 1994, and once again as a deluxe Digipak edition on June 28, 2005. The latter includes a bonus disc containing demos and live tracks, as well as a DVD of a concert from December 28, 1986 at the Sundance Club in Long Island, New York; this being the only known video footage of the Awaken the Guardian line-up performing live.
Robert Taylor at AllMusic gave Awaken the Guardian three stars out of five, calling it "a closet classic from the underground metal years of the '80s" and the song "Guardian" being noted as a highlight. As with Fates Warning's previous album The Spectre Within (1985), Taylor recommended it more for fans of heavy metal than progressive metal, remarking that "the song structures are too rudimentary to be called progressive."