Latest updates:

We hope you enjoy your visit here. Please join or login if you have joined before.

MT @ Facebook

Not logged in

Users online

34 guests

Welcome to our newest member, willtravers

Dawnwalker – House of Sand

House of Sand
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 28 July 2022, 9:54 AM

DAWNWALKER return in 2022 with their fifth album “House of Sand,” which marks a significant move away from the Post and Folk Metal influences of their last LP “Ages” for something darker and more difficult to pin down. As pictured on Mitchell Nolte’s cover painting, the album is set against a backdrop of idyllic suburbs and the darkness that may be lurking beneath. References abound to the darker side of the human psyche and a spiritual malaise (the “demon of noontide”) which once contracted gradually destroys all in its path. The album contains thirteen songs.

“R.I.P.” is the first cut. It’s an odd sound. Dreamy, smooth, and melancholy vocals combine with heavy rhythms and pounding bass. Under the headlines, tense tones linger. Harsh vocals make an expected appearance, and I could hear them coming. “Demon of Noontide” has another gentle beginning. You wander through the park without a care in the world, while the demon lurks in your subconscious. The sound begins to pick up as the demon materializes, but he fades back quickly without revealing himself. “The Witness” is a very short segue, with clean guitars, and more shades of grey. “False Doors” features layered vocal harmonies that are peaceful but again, darkness sneaks about in the background. Bass guitar picks up the rhythm which becomes more ominous. Through the first third of the album, I remain unsure of where it is headed.

“Egypt” begins with dual vocals from a female and a male. When they talk about the album being “something darker and more difficult to pin down,” that is exactly my sentiment. I’m also not convinced they are rid of their Folk Metal influences, but harsh vocals and a more aggressive sound are present. The title track is a short little jaunt that has an almost 1960’s sound to it. Have I been taken back in time? “The Prisoner” is another short segue with very little sonority. They are building a bridge…but to what? “Repeater” is another slow, easy, and somewhat sorrowful sound. Again, the bass guitars picks up the rhythm and the song grows darker and heavier, but doesn’t reach a final destination.

“Coming Forth by Day” is a heavier offering. Harsh vocals strike everything pure and cut through hope with rigid purpose. “Standing Stones” features some violin notes and if you didn’t see the storm on the edge of the horizon, you would picture this scene as a clear day, with blue skies and warm weather. “The Master” is another short segue with spoken words. “House of Sand II” is a darker offering with heavy accents smashing any benign thoughts and feelings that you have. Harsh vocals accentuate this feeling at the end, along with violin note so frail they are crushed by the weight of the sentiment. “Mildew” closes the album…a two-minute offering of stale bread and water. Even after two listens I still cannot make up my mind about the album. But, I will close with the following thoughts:

This was a strange and very personal album in many ways. Never mind trying to genre categorize it…you could be there all day and still come up with nothing. The other aspect of the album is that is lacks a lot of dynamism. There are some moving parts, but they are not accented enough to really make a difference. When I talk about the songs never reaching a final destination, this appears to be purposeful. But, it does make for a bit of a disjointed listening experience. Each time the songs build and start to grow dark, they let back up, and don’t reach that goal. In this sense, the experience is in the journey, and not the destination. Still, I do find it hard to land on who would be the audience interested in this type of sound.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 5
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. R.I.P.
2. Demon of Noontide
3. The Witness
4. False Doors
5. Egypt
6. House of Sand
7. The Prisoner
8. Repeater
9. Coming Forth by Day
10. Standing Stones
11. The Master
12. House of Sand II
13. Mildew
Chris J. Allan – Drums
Matteo Bianciotto – Guitars, Vocals
Dane Cross – Vocals
Mina Jackson – Piano
Robin Melinda Koob – Violin
Mark Norgate – Vocals, Guitars
Roisin O’Toole – Vocals
Record Label: Room 132


You do not have permission to rate

Metal Temple © 2000-2014
Yiannis Mitsakos

Designed, Implemented and Hosted by PC Green