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Youthful Primal Energy - 72%

HammerOfDeath, September 16th, 2016
Written based on this version: 1997, CD, Twilight Records (Limited edition)

Unbleed might just be one of the most interesting concoctions of metal genres, in an attempt to categorize it as accurately as possible, you have: A fast heavy metal riffing style, a lot of melodic leads, abrupt tempo shifts that lead into harmonies solemnly carried by one instrument, all of this styled in the black metal arts. It almost sounds like Ihsahn ditched the prog stuff and married Amorphis, or if Emperor joined forces with Manilla Road or something like that. So, you know, it's more or less melodic heavy/black metal.

There's plenty of problem with the release though: The vocals are really weak when it comes to proper black metal vocalization. The production is quite flat, not an issue for me but certainly for many. Sections where the music abruptly halts to make way for an acoustic or piano interlude, are used too frequently and end up being somewhat counter intuitive, cutting the flow of the music in half. The black metal drum blasting feels a little bit out of pace, it does add some speed to the whole thing though.

However, I can get over all of these problems, because there's an attribute to the music that can be very hard to understand, that attribute is its "sincerity". This album is genuine, young, thrilling and vibrant with adolescent spirit, it's running wild and all over the place. This raw primal feeling that is oozing from every corner can only be achieved by unexperienced teenagers, in their eighteens and early twenties. That is where this album shines, unpredictable and extremely rough on details. Oh...! And the melodic riffs are a big highlight of the whole thing.

Dawnbringer's debut is actually in itself a bringer of dawn, as the band, with time, would prove to be one extremely capable of translating the 70s and 80s era of metal into a "modern" style, and became one of my favorite bands ever. Many hail this one as a failed experiment, for me though, I have an appreciation for music that known no limits, that roams freely and is not afraid to experiment. You will find a lot of that here and maybe a little bit more...