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Between the band’s two albums some material was released, the split with Pyphomgertum that saw the return of their demo material, now available as a cd, and a small four track EP by the name of Sorgh På Svarte Vingar Fløgh which means “sorrow flew on black wings”. If you witnessed the transition that Dawn had from their demo material into the debut with their pure death metal sound converted into a black/death hybrid filled with melodic leanings, then this 1996 EP won’t come as a surprise being that it’s nothing more than a lengthening of the previous cocooned style that is now at the end of its metamorphosis and ready to hatch furiously. But that’s something that would take them two more years to achieve, so bear with me for a while and let me explore the four tracks presented here.
This work is little over twenty-three minutes but it only has three real tracks, being that the first is a small atmospheric intro into the title track that actually appears in its English stance as opposed to the Swedish one on the record’s title. One and a half minutes of a small caressing melody much like the beginning of “Eyesland” on the previous record bring forth the new more matured sound of the band, layered in an almost apocalyptical coat of thundering drums and furious blast beats that commonly stop for your senses to be flogged by the melodic leads. The fury transcends the sorrow and the ripping of your veins is inevitable as each new riff and chord progression slashes them open with a melancholic flowing sense of bewildering madness. The vocal shift that Henke undertook a couple of years back is now perfected and his voice carries the weight of a thousand souls with it, screaming and demanding your blood. The track clocks at almost eight minutes and further demonstrates the evolution that the band was having after such a great piece of work as their debut album was.
The haunting keyboards close this first chapter in the same melodic and transcendental way as it had opened and open the way for “Soil Of Dead Earth”, the other new track which is also lengthy in its execution and punishing in its delivery. The starting shriek delivered by Henke screams a bleeding heart as he pours forth “Ran…out of tiiiiime!” in that entrancing tone that he managed to find within himself, and his sorrowful vocals are the perfect compliment for the tremolo-picked melodies that constitute this seven minute anthem of pure dejection. The remaining track is a reworked song of Canada’s favourites Infernäl Mäjesty, a blackened version of “Night Of The Living Dead” that was released in their seminal debut album, None Shall Defy. I have to say that the cover is pretty great and the revamping done by Dawn, with a more black/thrash approach, is pretty cool. The original song is great and this version done by the Swedish band leaves little doubts of that.
This record is, as I say above, a sort of world between worlds, being that the full metamorphosis achieved in the following Slaughtersun wasn’t yet complete, but at the same time there were already enough signs of what their future sound would become. The approach on their debut is found here more refined but not yet in its full potential, and given that there are only two new tracks it’s hard to rate it any higher. Yet this is a thoroughly enjoyable piece of music and a purchase you can’t miss given that you get your hands on it. It’s the middle ground between the band’s albums, with all the trappings and marvels adjacent to that, but beware of the title track as it might suck you in and leave you dry and hungover for more. You’ve been warned.
Dawn is a band that consistently inspires mixed emotions in me whenever I hear them. On the one hand thier music is well-executed melodic black metal that works well on the shoulders of bands such as Dissection, while adding a more unpolished range of faster rhythms. The chord structures and melodic lines are not without thier unique twists and hooks, straying from the forulaeic 'minor-arpeggios and triades over bar chords' approach, enough to engage the listener. However, thier two full-length albums are immensely repetitive to the point I never listen to them. Sometimes the same riff is repeated over 20 times with absolutely no variation, only to be refrained later 2 more times.
This is their only release that doesn't bore me with repetition. And, as an added bonus, this is some of the most original and melodic work of thier career. Fans of classical music, specifically the Baroque period (think J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No.3 for the types of interlacing melodic lines I'm talking about) will appreciate this album's many phrases and riffs that play between two melodic vioces. Gutars here wrap around each other as melodies and harmonies switch and flow between the two with an epic and powerful grandiose fashioin unique for a black metal band with no real keyboards to express. The release overall is stagnant in that the songs and the riffs could easily be interchanged with any other riff in a song, and as such there are no real emotional arcs to the songwriting. The writing here is more academic and myopic, focusing only on making each riff enjoyable instead of crafting a cohesive whole.
Despite being a rather flat release, the quality of the riffs is consistently good, and is overally definitely worth seeking out, as this EP is now well out-of-print.