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Dawn - Loneliness CD (album) cover

LONELINESS

Dawn

Symphonic Prog


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Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
4 stars I guess retro-prog's growth has now grown well outside Scandinavia's frontiers (it had spread to the US with Discipline, Maxwell's Demon and Deadwood Forest) and it is now building a nest (chalet?) in the Swiss Jura Mountains with Dawn's debut album. Lead by singing guitarist Decoumois and keyboardist Gerber (the songwriters), the group has an unspecified (that's a change for a retro-prog group) array of vintage instruments to sound like the golden decade, but it doesn't restrict itself to the typical 70's symphonic style as it delves into dissonant improvs once in a while.

Opening on the eponymous track, a synth ostinato hovers over and around a pulsing bass, before Ducoumois' opening verse trigger the mellotron and the melancholic floodgates are widely opened. The almost 8-mins Rain On The Moon is slightly more neo-sounding than its retro-sounding predecessor, but it is nothing scandalous (a little pique to my neo-loving collabs, here) and you should survive it no problems. The 11-mins+ Brook is a melancholic (and bucolic) develops a Crimson-ian atmosphere even if the filtered spoken vocals is a little cheesy, the track meandering wildly between heard-elsewhere moments and original passages. The title track is definitely a melancholic track that fits quite well in the album's mould, with again so Crimson-oid influences, worn a little too loud on their sleeves.

Obviously you're all waiting for the album's foundation stone, the 18-mins Story Of Nobody, a slow-starting monster track with a slightly dissonant piano and tom-drum rolls that could easily be from Floyd, but past that intriguing intro, the track jumps straight into a retro/neo- like verse and chorus, softened by trons of melo, where the organ fills up the space left by an absent guitar. The track then veers spacey/cosmic with a (finally-present) wailing guitar soaring over the near-whispering voice and a great second solo, before going back to the retro/neo-sounding passage previously heard. However goods this Nobody's Story may be, the track doesn't escape a few lengths, especially in the "Mr Nobody"-yelling moments. The closing Dusk is mainly a keyboard (piano and melotron) track where Ducoumois is reminiscent of Harmonium's Fiori timbre and is a great finale to a robust and emotional album.

With a spatial artwork that could've been easily enhanced, Loneliness should occupy you for a few hours/days if you are indeed suffering from that predicament, but in the end, your mileage of this album will probably dwindle as years go by, but in the meantime, you're likely to love it. Dawn's debut is pleasant enough for most prospecting progheads to investigate and maybe invest.

Report this review (#291587)
Posted Friday, July 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Dawn came in life in Montreux, Switzerland through the friendship of schoolmates Julien Vuataz (bass) and Rene Degoumois (vocals, guitars).The official formation of the band is detected sometime around 2005 with the addition of Nicolas Gerber on keyboards.Two demos later and with Patrick Dufresne behind the drum kit Dawn felt ready to tape their ideas and writing process on a CD.Thus, ''Loneliness'' saw the light in 2007.

Dawn attempted to do what hunderds of bands tried a decade behind: Capture the essence of Classic groups of the 70's and add a touch of personality to come up with a symphonic-oriented Prog Rock album.The result is pretty nice and close to the likes of TRANSATLANTIC and MAGIC PIE, although their sound has a bit of a Nordic feeling akin to ANGLAGARD and WOBBLER at moments through plenty of melancholic touches, the emotional singing lines and a more pronounced KING CRIMSON-like atmosphere in the guitar parts, which are not that complex but contain often a slightly jazzy vibe.The music of Dawn is built on beautiful keyboard themes, a raw rhythm section and a diverse guitarist and passes through symphonic textures with huge Mellotron waves, discreet electric piano and atmospheric acoustic piano images.The atmosphere is doomy with downtempo parts and rare take-offs regarding the rhythm, but the music remains fairly interesting until the end with lots of breaks, dramatic soundscapes and unexpected twists with virtuosic solos among the tight orchestrations.There are also plenty of synth flashes throughout but not in a Neo Prog way, here the sound remains strongly symphonic close to COLLAGE's more melodic and bombastic material.Very nice stuff, which is quite often powered by dual keyboard techniques and smooth, slightly psychedelic outakes.

Mission completed for Dawn.A nice Symphonic Rock effort with dark themes yet still some more emotional segments with atmospheric, instrumental executions.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#1163628)
Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars Dawn is a fantastic newer symphonic rock band from Switzerland. I'll cut to the chase...keyboardist Nicolas Gerber channels the sounds that Tony Banks forgot to bring along with him on the recent Genesis reunion. This album is filled with tons of Mellotron and analog synth sounds that any fan of old school prog will freak over. For some odd reason, vocalist/guitarist Rene Degoumois constantly reminds me of the gentle tones of Pye Hastings. Bassist Julien Vuataz and Patrick Dufresne hold down the rhythmic fort quite well. Lots of long tunes give the band plenty of opportunity to stretch out. For such a young band they have developed a great knack for structuring a tune around "the big moment" - that's the point in the tune where your jaw drops and you get the chills...like Hackett's solo on "Firth Of Fifth". Clearly a band we will be hearing a lot more from.

All things considered this is a remarkably mature opening album for 'Dawn' and for me at any rate it contains little, if anything, that fails to please.

I sincerely hope that Dawn will be able to maintain the impressive form they have shown on this, their first album, and I for one look forward to more and better things to come. If there is such a thing as justice in the world, then Dawn are certainly destined to become a well known name in the years ahead.

I can't wait to listen to the new album "Darker", one thing I never understood is why new bands that have no track record are not making the album cover amazingly attractive to catch the potential (buyer's) listeners attention? on "Darker" they did even a worse cover job, stupid! I guess "don't judge an (a book) album by it's cover" comes here to life!

Highly recommended. for me 4.5 stars rounded to 5

Report this review (#1196750)
Posted Saturday, June 21, 2014 | Review Permalink

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