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Golden Dawn - Return To Provenance

Golden Dawn
Return To Provenance
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 06 February 2012, 11:51 PM

I got to hand it that I was very touched by the story of this band, which is actually a solo project. When a band’s founder comes to a point where he is sick and tired of what is going around his baby, eventually he will lose his motivation to continue and set free his ideas on the world. However, when he has the power to end to what he acknowledges as the suffering of his brainchild, he doesn’t necessarily have to euthanize it. On the contrary, he has the ability to bring it back just as it was before the initial change that hurt him so much overcame. I might described the whole thing like a metaphor of re-educating a corrupted child, but in a way that is what the Austrian Black Metal artist, Stefan Tranmuller, the project leader of GOLDEN DAWN did when his revived both his motivation and his music by letting go of the commercialized stuff that surrounded his project. While letting go of all the members of the project, which became a band, he reshaped the old illustration of GOLDEN DAWN.

“Return To Provenance”, via Non Serviam Records, is the first musical piece of Traunmuller in nine years, since the marketable days of Napalm Records and the Gothic / Power Metal inductions that came over the black of GOLDEN DAWN’s Metal. This album marks the return of the projects older image of Black Metal with a few elements that were left of Gothic Metal along with several indications of Viking influences, especially when the effects and several of the drumming passages are concerned. In general, maybe also slightly by the usual, yet in a way contemporary, Black Metal sound decree, GOLDEN DAWN sounded to me like the older era of DIMMU BORGIR along with other older names of the famous Nordic Black Metal scene.

All in all, though there were moments where the “Return To Provenance” album sunk deep within my soul with its melancholic and gloomy nature, I wasn’t that thrilled of what I was listening to. After the satisfying incursion of “Nameless” and “Return To Provenance”, which was even better than the former with its diversities, I must say that the road ahead, at least musically, remained quite the same and common for a Black Metal album and even monotonous at times. “Denial”, probably the most old school segment of this release, sent me back to the early 90s and into the cold woods that mesmerized the minds of the older Norwegian Black Metal guard. This one has a cool atmosphere even when it pretty much walked the same walk as tons before it.

Another sign of a chilling 90s example, along with other elements of Viking Metal that reminded me of FALKENBACH, were on “Vision of Entirety”. In general, I enjoyed from the intro, which is a sort of a lead trilling guitar and the flute. That same lead guitar riff returned after a minute but that was the peak moment of the track. Just when I was about to think that the end would be the same, I was enthralled by Black / Gothic finishing blow of “Self-Destruction”, which made me think that Traunmuller wrote this one in order to mark the years where GOLDEN DAWN was losing its identity, when it actually lost its identity by the commercial world. The sorrowful tunes and great melodic fretwork filled my heart with hopes that Traunmuller will read this review and would try to build a foundation upon this sort of track.

After nine years, Traunmuller is attempting to reinstate GOLDEN DAWN on its true saddle. “Return To Provenance” turned out a sort of a promise. Though I expected it to be far greater and less common, I know that the direction of the songs that I do liked is something that Traunmuller should cherish and think about when he writes that next album. 

3 Star Rating

1. Nameless
2. Return to Providence
3. Dark Illuminations
4. Dionysian Eucharist
5. Denial
6. Seduction
7. Vision of Entirety
8. Self-Destruction 
Stefan Traunmuller– Vocals, All Instruments 
Record Label: Non Serviam Records


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