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Crimson Dawn - Inverno Award winner

Crimson Dawn
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 30 March 2020, 4:13 AM

CRIMSON DAWN is an Italian Epic Doom Metal band.  “Inverno,” is their third full length album—after being blown away by this one, I will have to make it a priority to check out their previous material which consists of two other full lengths, one split, a demo, and an EP.  The band's content includes occult tales, fantasy, and legends—the stuff that is common but more so in Power Metal.  Vocalist Antonio actually has a soaring voice that would be right at home in a Power Metal band.  This is fitting because some of that genre’s elements find their way here. Though the band’s sound is definitely rooted in Doom, the energy and larger than life songs that are so often associated with Power Metal is definitely on display here.  Combine that with thick, huge riffs and tight songwriting, then what you have is a Doom album of extremely high quality and replay ability.  In essence, this is just one of those albums that is fun—that isn’t a word  associated with the often morose Doom Metal genre but it fits here because you can press play on “Inverno,” and not have to worry about skipping a track—just sit back and enjoy the Doom.

The pacing of the album itself is perfect as is the running time of 46 mins or so.  After the long opening track, the next three hover around the four minute mark.  As the album goes on, the tracks get a bit longer before toning the time down a bit for the final track. They actually remind me quite a bit of another badass Doom band called KHEMMIS.  They don’t sound anything alike, but they have that same classic rock/Metal flair that mixes so well with crushing Doom.  Their vocalist has one of the best clean voices in the business and Antonio is right up there with him.  However, his vocals are a bit too loud and up front in the mix and can overpower everything around him but that is about the only complaint I have for him or the album’s production/mixing.  Otherwise, “Inverno,” sounds pretty damn great and smooth.

The album opens with the near eleven-minute long “The House On The Lake.”  I have to give credit to the band for including the longest song on the album as the opening track.  Usually bands save the longest, most epic track for the album’s centerpiece but not here: the band wants to go for the throat all the way and they want the listener all in or not at all.  It is a bold move, but it pays offs because the song is just HUGE.  It begins with some clean guitar laced with melodic leads, not unlike modern day IRON MAIDEN.  About forty-eight seconds in, huge riffs destroy it all and just hit like a battering ram.  ANTONIO’s powerful, full clean vocals match the guitars powers and his vocal rhythms are just as potent.   In between the lyrical passage, the band takes time to jam out for a few seconds—the flow of this song is incredible as are the arrangements.

“Inverno’s” title track is a fine example of Epic Doom song: heavy as hell, balanced tempo, and a chorus catchy enough to be in your head for days even though I don’t know what they are saying.  That is good song writing right there!  A personal favorite of mine from the album is “Nameless One.”  The bass gets a time to shine in the beginning, laying down slabs of Metal that holds up the rest of the band.  The main riff makes the head bang and the use of clean keys is a very nice touch.  The solos in the song’s mid-section are a clever duel between the guitar and keys and I didn’t want it to end.

The final song, “Soulcrush,” finishes the album on a very strong note.  The very moving guitar solos and melodies play off the drums as the song fades into a clean break with light touches of keys keep everything gliding along. This is the slowest song on the album, an emotional dirge of melodic Doom that has all the elements needed for a great song. “Inverno” entertained me from the first note to the last and I couldn’t get enough of it.  Any fan of this style of Doom or Heavy Metal needs to add this to their “get” list immediately.  Highly recommended.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. The House on the Lake
2. Thulsa Doom and the Cult of the Snake
3. Inverno
4. From Beyond
5. Nameless One
6. Return To Agarthi
7. Condemned To Live
8. Soulcrush
Dario Beretta – Guitars
Marco Rusconi – Guitars
Luca Lucchini – Drums
Antonio Pecere – Vocals
Emanuele Laghi – Keyboards
Alessandro Reggiani Romagnoli - Bass
Record Label: Punishment 18 Records


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