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Dawn Ray'd - The Unlawful Assembly

Dawn Ray'd
The Unlawful Assembly
by Clarissa "Wulf" Wright at 25 December 2017, 8:55 AM

DAWN RAY'D is a black metal band hailing from Liverpool in the UK. “The Unlawful Assembly” was released in October 27, comprising two sections – “The Wild Service” and “The Wild Magic”. Having heard that the band bring anti-fascist meanings to their music, I didn’t know what to expect in their sound, before diving in for a listen to “The Unlawful Assembly”.

“Fire Sermon” brings us straight into a dark vortex with pulsating guitars, blast beats and raspy harsh vocals. The chaos is soon interrupted by an interlude of solo-violin, that plays a dissonant melody against a backdrop of sustained guitars. “The Abyssal Plain” begins with the shredding away of blackened guitars, accompanied with violins that play a repetitive folky tune. This tune echoes out throughout the track, as the chord sequences of guitars take it forward. The repeated themes make this particularly catchy and folky, especially as the vocals add to the rhythm.

The fifth track “A Litany to Cowards” is a purely acoustic, relaxed ballad. The music takes a change of tone, as clean vocals tell a melancholic story. The acoustic nostalgia continues in “The Ceaseless Arbitrary Choice”, before a quick dash of harsh vocal call out, and initiate an avalanche of black metal distortion, powered by the full band. This chaos quickly clears up, as violin, muted guitar and cymbal chimes of the drums create an airy, cold space, before the heavy sounds return for an aggressive ending.

I found “Held In A Lunar Synthesis” to create a dense, dark atmosphere from the guitar tones and chord progressions. Vocals lead the way in manifesting a deeply despairing emotion, led on by the foreboding guitar chord sequence. When all guitars drain out, the listener is left with the sustained strings of violin that add tension and a sense of being on-edge. The concluding track of the album “A Thought, ablaze” is a true acoustic ballad, as descending picked guitars back up clean vocals that sadly share a story about loss, oppression and genocide. The melody carries on against the consistent strumming of acoustic guitar.

Violins create a ballad feel in the beginning of “Strike Again the Hammer Sings!”. Fast tremolo, drums and aggressive vocals splurge out intensely, before a break of sustained violins, and taps of the tom-drums lead on to the full rage of the band when tremolo distortion returns once more. In a subtle way, the vocals almost sound like the reciting of traditional poetry or folk song, through its lyrics and rhythm.

“The Unlawful Assembly” interweaves between episodes of chaotic black metal fury, and cool, contemplative folky acoustic sections, the contrast adds strength to the sounds across the album. Bipolar elements play along with lyrics that seem dense in meaning and feeling. From listening to “The Unlawful Assembly”, I find Dawn Ray'd to be unique in style and an intriguing listen.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Fire Sermon
2. The Abyssal Plain
3. Future Perfect Conditional
4. Emptiness Beneath the Great Emptiness
5. A Litany to Cowards
6. The Ceaseless Arbitrary Choice
7. Held in a Lunar Synthesis
8. Strike Again the Hammer Sings
9. Island of Cannibal Horses
10. A Thought, Ablaze
Lineup:
Simon B. ñ - Vocals, Violin
Fabian D. - Guitars
Matthew B. ñ - Drums
Record Label: Prosthetic Records
     


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