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Dawn of Ouroborus - The Art of Morphology Award winner

Dawn of Ouroboros
The Art of Morphology
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 27 March 2020, 12:43 PM

Hailing from the San Francisco bay area of California, comes a Progressive Metal/Post-Black Metal band called DAWN OF OUROBORUS. Back in August 2019, I reviewed their debut single titled “Sorrow’s Eclipse,” and found it to me one of the most uniquely pleasing songs that I have heard in a while. I am now super excited to be reviewing their debut album here, titled “The Art of Morphology,” which contains eight tracks.

“Revivified Spirits” is the opening track. It opens slowly and cautiously, with clean and dark guitar notes. Whispered vocals come in as the song begins to take shape, like a monstrous creature crawling out of the shadows. The vocals come in with pure rage. It ends on a sorrowful and desolate tone. “Pinnacle Induced Vertigo” is another shorter song, opening with calming and welcoming tones. But everything is soon destroyed by Chelsea’s deep and powerful harsh vocals. They break for a spell with an ambient passage where you an hear the bass guitar notes, and clean vocals with a touch of charm. But grey skies loom as the harsh vocals return. The music keeps a strong sense of melody under her raging vocals however, and the combination of the two sounds is fascinating.

“Gateway to Tenebrosity” is a short one-and-a-half minute segue to the remainder of the album. It’s soft and pretty piano notes reminds you that this band is not a one-pony trick. It segues into “Lunar Cathexis,” which opens with charming clear guitar notes and a feeling of calmness, that is soon dashed by the ripping harsh vocals. Underneath the vocals, the song builds tones of melody and hope. This is exactly what the band does best and what sets them apart from other bands in this mash-up genre. Clear vocals pierce the grey like a bright beam of sunlight. The song fades away with the melody in the guitars, and Chelsea’s raging vocals.

“Spiral of Hypnotism” is a longer song, clocking in at over seven minutes in length. It’s fairly chaotic from the start, with double-time drums and the thick slaps of bass guitar. First comes the harsh vocal passage, marred with anger, then come the dreamy clean vocals that wash away the filth with pretty guitar melodies. Then, it’s back to harsh vocals again as the skies grey once again. But the guitars hold hope on a string, waiting to fall. “Serpent’s Charm” opens with a sinister tone, and slow-moving drums, bass and guitars. At first the harsh vocals create a harrowing atmosphere that linger. After the half-way mark, lead guitars carry a delicate melody and that sense of hope returns. Her clean vocals here are absolutely beautiful.

“Sorrow’s Eclipse” combines multi-faceted genres together into a unified piece. It starts off as straight up Black Metal, with that wall of guitars and blast beat drums, with harsh vocals raging into the sky. Suddenly, it drops to clean male vocals and ethereal guitars, before the chaos ensues once again. I really like the bass guitar here and you can hear it clearly in the mix. The lead guitars bring in a supporting melody as well. Clean female vocals wash away the vile with a key change. The transition to the Post-Black elements is seamless. They are beautiful and alluring. Then, it moves to a strong note with the full sound back in your face. The final few minutes have a brief passage full of melody and hope…before finishing you with the knock-out punch. The song truly runs you through a gamut of emotions.

“Valiant Abscond” closes the album, a short four minutes of regal sounding music. It’s entirely instrumental and seems to blend the previous tracks together in a way that is hard to describe. It’s pretty, but also rugged. Overall, I marvel at what the group was able to create here…their own genre of music, period. I have yet to hear anything like it. They seamlessly blend together elements of Black Metal, Progressive Metal, and Post-Metal into the album, and if there is a better, more versatile singer out there than Chelsea Murray, I’m not aware of one. Her harsh vocals are absolutely raging, and her clean vocals are very alluring. The melodies are also there, just waiting for you to grab them. This is an early contender for album of the year for sure.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Revivified Spirits
2. Pinnacle Induced Vertigo
3. Gateway to Tenebrosity
4. Lunar Cathexis
5. Spiral of Hypnotism
6. Serpent’s Charm
7. Sorrow’s Eclipse
8. Valiant Abscond
Lineup:
Tony Thomas – Guitars
Chelsea Murphy – Vocals
David Scanlon – Bass
Ron Bertrand – Drums
Record Label: Naturmatch/Rain Without End
     


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