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Maax - Dawnbringer - 70%

Phuling, December 23rd, 2010

I didn’t realize until after I’d reviewed Maax’s EP Six pack witchcraft that I also had Dawnbringer to review; their debut album released a year before the EP. Eventhough I had looked through the entire pile of promos from Abyss Records I never made the connection between the two records, and I suppose it’s due to the fact that the logos on the two releases look so completely different. So after hearing the EP first I expected this to sound similar, and I couldn’t have been more wrong.

This is melodic, sleek and slick, sans the intrusive burliness of Six pack witchcraft. As soon as Blut reich…blood dawn begins I get a strong Lord Belial vibe, with very reminiscent riffing, melody and even vocals. As the similarities to said band dissipates over time, the black metal doesn’t. I’m not sure I’d guessed the band to hail from the States if I hadn’t known, simply ‘cause it sounds fairly European in style. Melodic riffing, not driven by leads but by a core of melodic riffs, going by both like a hurricane and like a slowly driven bulldozer. They’re mainly focusing on slower paces, rarely indulging themselves in blasting. It comes across as quite raw yet melodic, old school Norwegian yet 90ies European, and with a drizzle of modern American black. When they pick up speed, such as in the title track, the aggressiveness of their music is really terrific, whereas the slower tunes have a more chilling and eerie atmosphere, drenched in darkness.

I’m extremely surprised this is even the same band, although there are a few moments where the thrash influences shine through, the rock stays far away from their sound. Dawnbringer’s a damn evil-sounding album with a marvelous atmosphere, blending almost every style of black metal together very well. It’s far from anything unique, but it’s nonetheless bloody satisfying for a black metal freak.

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