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Steve Roach

Progressive Electronic

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Steve Roach Darkest Before Dawn album cover
4.02 | 9 ratings | 2 reviews | 22% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Darkest Before Dawn (74:00)

Total Time 74:00

Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Roach / composer, peformer, all sounds

Releases information

CD Timeroom Editions TRE10 (2002)

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STEVE ROACH Darkest Before Dawn ratings distribution

(9 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(67%)
Good, but non-essential (11%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

STEVE ROACH Darkest Before Dawn reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Slartibartfast
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
4 stars This was really my first proper introduction into the works of Steve Roach. I had him on a tribute album to Salvador Dali called Dali - The Endless Enigma, which incidentally also had Djam Karet, who I didn't really get into for a few years after either.

This album is, needless to say, dark space music. Imagine yourself in the darkest regions between the stars drifting aimlessly. He basically creates this atmosphere that lasts for a little over 73 minutes. If you wanted something dark and creepy to play during Halloween to creep out the trick or treaters, you couldn't get better than this.

Music best not to listen to if you are feeling depressed unless you want to deepen the experience.

3.5 stars which round up to 4 unless you have a problem with how math works particularly when floating in the darkness of space. Be sure and follow this up with something brighter like Spectral Mornings...

Review by Dobermensch
4 stars This is another of those post-Apocalyptic, ethereal Roach recordings where the smell of death from the trenches creeps up your nose.

Either that, or it's a happy easy listening album by the beach, as you read your favourite book whilst half asleep. It's all down to each individual listener.

Everyone will have differing opinions about this super-long, minimal, one track 74 minute recording by the 'Yoda' of Isolationist Ambience. It's either grim and creepy or soothing and relaxing depending on the your state of mind. As is usual from his output at this time, Roach displays an undiluted and relentless approach to the final outcome.

To me it sounds like the vacuum of outer space itself. Like that bit in 'Alien' where the 'Nostromo' silently plummets through space. It's an all consuming and haunting work using only ghostly electronics played at 1mph. This isn't the type of album that is rewarded by close listening. It's most definitely a background soundtrack for those moments where your nightmares are about to take centre stage.

'Darkest Before Dawn' utilises only keyboards. Keyboard chords that are stretched so long that they become drowsy and sleepy. This is no bad thing, as they create an atmosphere of doom.

Despite the unimaginative cover - which I have to admit - sums up the sound within with its black morphing into grey. This is one of Steve Roach's best recordings. Produced at a time when the likes of 'Lull', 'Lustmord' and 'Voice of Eye' were at their peak, this is every bit as good as the aforementioned and sounds effortless in its construction.

The sounds rise and fall like celestial waves amongst thick fog in an alien ocean of sulphur. It's a bit like standing on the edge of a cliff staring into the abyss of nothingness. There's no beginning and no end. Just an ululating tidal wave, without beat. Isolationism in the extreme. 'Brian Eno' fans will love this. Unlike Eno this does have an underlying threat despite being so laid back.

'Darkest Before Dawn' is an album with no meaning other than its own presence. A solitary beacon of life in a dead Universe. Beautiful.

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