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Bròn > Where the Leaden Dawn Meets Iron Shores > Reviews
Bròn - Where the Leaden Dawn Meets Iron Shores

Darkened Skies and Black Water - 86%

TheStormIRide, March 23rd, 2018
Written based on this version: 2018, CD, Wolfspell Records (Limited edition, Digipak)

Chalk this one up to missed opportunities that are only now being corrected, but somehow I’ve completely missed the boat on Bròn until recently. Issue one; Bròn is a solo project of Kriegest, the driving force behind Barshasketh, who happen to be one of my favorite Scottish black metal bands. Issue two; a quick review of the project’s earlier material displays some fantastically composed atmospheric black metal. Full thanks must go to Wolfspell Records (and Sigillvm Tenebrae Records) for the early 2018 physical release of Bròn’s third full length album, Where the Leaden Dawn Meets Iron Shores.

Bròn’s music is as sweeping and nuanced as most atmospheric black metal bands, though compositionally, the project has taken extremely grandiose machinations to a whole new level. Three tracks, each well over the twenty minute mark, combine for a seventy-three minute immersion in Kriegest’s sonic world building, which consist of lengthy ambient/atmospheric introductions and outros and whatnot. While a lot of atmospheric black metal bands toy with lengthy ambient tangents, Bròn’s sound heavily relies on it, which gives the album drastic mood swings that go from lulling keyboard notes and airy backgrounds to melodic trem riffing and double bass runs and back again. Even though both sides are polar opposites, the plinking keyboard notes and ethereal backings are maintained during the heavier moments, creating a really cohesive feel.

While I must admit it was difficult to get into Where the Leaden Dawn Meets Iron Shores on my first playthrough, the more I listened to it the further I was pulled into the soundscapes. The album takes quite some time to kick off, and then, even when it does, it consistently fades back into sweeping soundscapes, but the heavier moments are well worth waiting for. The first track takes a whopping seven minutes until it blasts forth with choppy, keyboard laden, mid-tempo black metal, full of windswept tremolo riffing and a cold, northern feel. It’s moments like that, not to forget the Summoning-tinged soiree in the middle of “Through Obsidian Teeth” or the At the Heart of Winter homage during the title track.

Where the Leaden Dawn Meets Iron Shores is one of the more gripping examples of long and drawn out atmospheric black metal. There is a fair amount of downtime, and it does take a few spins to reach its peak appeal, but once the songwriting has its hooks in you it’s hard to look away. Wolfspell Records has pretty much cornered the market on great atmospheric/ambient black metal, and this album is no different. I’d tend to recommend this more to patient listeners and those who really like to watch long song unfold, but it’s a fantastic release nonetheless.

Written for The Metal Observer.