Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dawn Ray'd : "A Thorn, A Blight"

This trio out of England first strikes me as been more aligned with black metal than other genres . They have a raw anger to their sound that is balanced by atmospheric undertones and melodies. The songs are short bursts of this snarling, all running around four minutes, so you are never numbed out by long droning excursions. Their formula for songwriting is keen throwing darkly melodic sections in the middle of these songs that are typically bookended by the more ravaging sections. Though some variation lies within this formula, such as the ending of the second song, where the vocals  also show a little more range , but are typically screamed in a dry rasp that still allows the lyrics to cut through.

Some of the melodies from the first two songs seems to carry over into the other songs. "Strident Voices" tends to rage in a more typical blasting fashion. They hold off on their more melodic leanings until 'At the Still Point" which finds a better balancing of the two dynamics. The vocals hold off until the storm builds back up. I can hear fans of Agalloch's heavier side finding these guys as a suitable replacement for the void that band has left. They only flirt with the more folk side and use it to color bridges rather than full committing to an entire song taking that turn. "A Colony of Fevers" further relishes the agony their sound embraces. It's not until midway into the song that they relax on the blasting to add other textures.

The album closes with "Darken the Door". While this band uses many mournful melodies that are flavored with folk, I would refute any claims that they are doom. This is however a very interesting album, that is a breath of fresh air instead of listening to the normal barrage of blasty mc nasty that I sort through every week. Some of the songs do however sound somewhat the same so I'll give this an 8.5, and consider if I really need this in my iPod, but you might if you need new black metal in your life and still find yourself pining for Agalloch's more brutal moments. This album was released earlier in the month by Halo of Flies.

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