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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 Queensr├┐che 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.