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Dawn - Darker CD (album) cover

DARKER

Dawn

 

Symphonic Prog

3.69 | 48 ratings

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Windhawk
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Swiss band DAWN have been an active band for more than a decade, and released their debut album "Loneliness" back in 2007. Following a more barren spell in terms new material, the band signed with prestigious progressive rock label The Laser's Edge, who subsequently released their second studio album "Darker" in 2014.

In the vast expanse that is the progressive rock universe, Dawn is a band that have chosen to situate themselves in a fairly well known and well regarded part of it, namely the one most often described as symphonic progressive rock. As with many other bands of a similar nature, the end result is a production of material that will be familiar sounding, and of what one might describe as a vintage oriented nature.

The key elements throughout are keyboards, organ and Mellotron. Dawn have specified the cornerstones of their expression as one based on vintage sounds in general and the use of Korg and Mellotron in particular, and those fond of progressive rock with these instruments as cornerstones will have a field day with this CD.

The moods and atmospheres of Dawn's music is one of mournful darkness and melancholy, liberally flavored with additional details that stays firmly out within the darker emotions of humanity. Not depressive as such, but dealing with topics that re less than bright and creating music in sync wit the themes explored is probably the best description. In general terms I'm somewhat reminded of Norwegian band Nordagust, but without the details from folk music that gave that band a particular and distinct expression.

Slow to mid-paced material with arrangements alternating from frail and brittle constructions to layered, rich and at times majestic and forceful ones are the main boundary points Dawn explore within for this production, with gentle atmospheric passages reminding ever so slightly of Camel at their most mellow, more edgy movements with organ and guitar combinations closer in style to what Genesis created back in their heyday, alongside richer, layered combinations with vintage keyboards, atmospheric guitar soloing and Mellotron assembled in a manner not too unlike late 70's Pink Floyd. With variations and blends between these three main modes of expression.

Apart from the massive 8945, a creation that becomes a tad too stale and repetitive for my personal taste, I generally find that Dawn manage to explore this type of music in a well developed and suitably intriguing manner as well. The somewhat accented lead vocals may be something of an acquired taste, but otherwise the compositions comes across as solid entities of their kind, and then in particular for those with a taste for symphonic progressive rock of the kind where vintage keyboards and Mellotron are given a liberal amount of room.

Windhawk | 4/5 |

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