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Dawn Ray’d – To Know the Light

Dawn Ray’d
To Know the Light
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 29 March 2023, 6:18 AM

From Prosthetic Record’s homepage, “To Know the Light” is a departure from their previous missives in more ways than one. Although still overtly political, the lyrics take on a more personal slant than before. Lyrically, “To Know the Light” traces the band’s own journey through anarcho-nihilism; from anger, to despair, to a radical acceptance of the darkness all around us, settling on a new understanding of liberation and joy. While much of the thematic content is rooted in rage and resistance, there are also elements of positivity to be found throughout.” The album has ten songs,

“The Battle of Sudden Flame” is the first. The opening tones are thick with vocals, guitars, and drums, and in layers. There are some shifts both in the sound and the pacing, but that Black Metal blueprint comes through hard. “Ancient Light” begins with an equal does of melodies from the guitars and violin notes, and a hardened edge from the aggressive vocals. There is slow down with clean vocals that create a more somber tone. The styles alternate through the rest of the song. “Inferno” has a brief clean passage before the sound rolls in at 120 MPH, leaving a trail of fire behind it. Folky elements that were subdued before come through a bit stronger.

“Sepulchre (Don’t Vote)” is a slower grind of deep, aggressive vocals a thick mid-section. It’s a quick blast of sonority that is anger personified from start to finish. “Cruel Optimisms” begins with very sober tones from the violin and clean guitars. They have an almost Scottish hardship feeling to them for me. The clean vocals augment this feeling. “In the Shadows of the Past” opens with more somber clean tones before a hardened riff plows through. The vocals that follow are harsh and somewhat demonstrative, before harmonies peek through. “Freedom in Retrograde” is another that features clean, depressive, but also pretty tones. When the band wants to embrace moments of melody, they are pleasing. The clean vocals are also well done.

“Wild Fire” is another song done in much the same manner as some of the others. Although I enjoy the sound, the band is using the same pattern over and over again. Both of the elements work quite well together, however. “Go as Free Companions” closes the album. The violin is beautifully depressing when combined with the thick and contentious riffs. As I mentioned above, this isn’t your common Black Metal sound. The band incorporates a few other elements into the music, like violin, keyboards, and clean passages. The resulting sound is pleasing, but too many of the songs had a similar sound. The band is capable of a better outing next time, as long as they focus on diversity a little more.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. The Battle of Sudden Flame
2. Ancient Light
3. Inferno
4. Requital
5. Sepulchre (Don’t Vote)
6. Cruel Optimisms
7. In the Shadow of the Past
8. Freedom in Retrograde
9. Wild Fire
10. Go as Free Companions
Simon B – Vocals & Violin
Fabian D – Guitars
Matthew B – Drums
Record Label: Prosthetic Records


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