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Pipers bored - 30%

robotiq, January 29th, 2021

No-one discovers Pipers Dawn without knowing of their connection to Gorement, the excellent Swedish death/doom band from the early 90s. Gorement were never anything more than a cult phenomenon in their own right. They were duped by a bad label, released one album (a year late), and split up soon after. They are not even a household name in death metal circles. Ironically, the more obscure Pipers Dawn played a much more accessible and commercially orientated type of music. They flitted between traditional heavy metal and what might be called 'melodic doom'. Convention would suggest that Pipers Dawn had more potential for widespread appeal than Gorement ever did.

But metal doesn't work like that. Aficionados love to find obscure rabbit holes and undiscovered gems. Gorement's only album ("The Ending Quest") became one of those records. It is a fine album, not quite a classic, but one that deserves a cult reputation. The same cannot be said for Pipers Dawn. Four of the five people who recorded the final Gorement demo also played on "Moonclad", recorded soon after Gorement folded. The only change was the vocalist, Petra Albrecht replaced Jimmy Karlsson. The band must have been sick of playing death metal and wanted to try doing something else. Gorement only hinted at power metal once, on "Soulless Sanity" (the final song of their final demo). There are no other musical or aesthetic similarities between the two bands.

The reason more people know about Gorement than Pipers Dawn these days is because Pipers Dawn sucked. This demo is three songs of nondescript heavy metal with few redeeming features. The first song ("Moonclad") is a slow, bland quasi-ballad that sounds like "Jet City Woman" by Queensrÿche or "Zombie" by the Cranberries. I like both of those songs, but this one has none of the gusto needed for a good heavy metal power ballad. The second song, "Wings of Rage", seems like passable power metal at first. It resembles Iron Maiden's "Flash of the Blade" with some melodic At the Gates riffs added ("Slaughter of the Soul" had just come out when this was recorded). The song loses its appeal quickly because of how repetitive it is. There is nothing surprising about the song, and the musicianship is not exciting enough to be worth hearing on its own.

To my knowledge, was this the second time an old school Swedish death metal band tried to play traditional heavy metal. Afflicted had made a similar conversion on "Dawn of Glory" a year earlier. Afflicted also sucked at making this kind of music, but were better than Pipers Dawn. Nothing about this demo shows potential and Pipers Dawn never recorded anything else. This feels like bland music for bland times. Pipers Dawn faded into even greater obscurity as people began (re)discovering Gorement. Listen to "The Ending Quest" instead.

Really? - 20%

thecynickid, January 9th, 2021

The opening notes serve as a warning to brace yourself for the cheese that is to come.

The first "heavy" riff is underlined by poppy bullshit. These undertones really confine the music to such safe boundaries. Often the music just seems to hold back where it should have more energy. It's like they want to be heavy, but are keeping themselves in check. When I picture the band, I imagine one or two members insisting that the vocals be clean and the music be nice and pleasant while the rest of the band reluctantly conforms.

The first track taints the entire alum with an initial atmosphere of cheese and corn, and the rest of the album just can't move away from its oppressive shadow. The vocals keep it up throughout the album. Seriously, get another girl, get somebody's cat, get a used napkin, get a penny, because these vocals are so fucking annoying. I don't just automatically hate the vocals because they're clean; though it's rare, cleaner vocals work sometimes. I like Candlemass, Yob, Conan, and other bands who effectively utilize them, incorporating powerful or chilling vocal passages that add to the atmosphere of the music.

Piper's Dawn finds no way to do this. You could easily leave her voice as it is, replace the lyrics with the words to a radio love song, and find that they are much more fitting in such a scenario. To make matters worse, I can easily imagine replacing the guitar riffs and baselines as they are with keyboards and synths to back it up.

I actually don't mind the beginning of the last song, but of course it was ruined by the aforementioned plaques.

It's hard to believe that this is pretty much what Gorement turned into. The whole thing just seems pointless to me. There is really nothing actually heavy about this. It's corny as hell. Any parts that could be good just don't have enough force behind them. The name of the band alone should sound like a warning, but I didn't really think much of it at first...I thought "maybe it's just a random Pink Floyd reference. We all like Floyd." Well, maybe they would be better as a classic rock band. But they'll still need to boot the singer out. Anyway, it's not like the production itself is terrible or anything, and obviously they don't completely suck at their instruments. But going from Gorement to gothic metal was a pretty bad idea, even if Gorement did have some untraditional leanings that other death metal bands don't incorporate into their stuff. This album really showcases that.

Power Metal obscurity - 82%

ruigeroeland, September 29th, 2008

Pipers Dawn is an obscure Metal band, tagged as a Gothic/Doom outfit, which only released one demo in 1996 before dissolving. Most notable about the band is probably the fact that one of the band members ended up in Power Metal band Amaran and some of the other members where part of a Death Metal act called Gorement, which seems to have had to some moderate success.

Pipers Dawn music is actually more Power Metal, because all the songs are way to fast to be considered Doom Metal by even the most open minded listener. The Gothic tag is somewhat justifiable, but I would call it an influence rather than a major contributor to the bands sound. The songs rely for the most part on fast riffing and drums, accompanied by pretty impressive clean female vocals. There are no keyboards or other atmospheric elements, leaving the guitars to create the melodies.

The songs are well constructed and the production is a lot better than I had expected.

This is in no way mandatory material, but it’s quite enjoyable. It’s a shame the band wasn’t able to release anymore material, because with some growth, they might have had some success.