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Silent Dawn - Asylum

Silent Dawn
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 15 October 2020, 6:50 AM

Formed in France in 2005, Melodic Death Metal band SILENT DAWN did not release a full-length album until 2014. “Asylum” is the band’s second full-length, and contains nine tracks. I was surprised to not be able to find the band’s line-up on Encyclopaedia Metallum, nor from their record label website. Oh, well, I guess we just need to get down to the review here.

“Huit temps pour rien” opens the album. It opens with thick and chugging guitars, and some harsh vocals. The riffing however is fairly standard, and they are not pushing themselves to new heights in the genre. The chorus is pretty solid. The guitar work gets a little better as the song presses on. “Ordo ab Chao” begins with a chunky guitar riff and some vocal chanting. The harsh vocals are guttural at first. Without the presence of clean vocals, they take a unilateral approach to their songwriting, and must rely on the riffing to carry the sound, and that’s the problem, as the riffs are at times unimaginative.

“Asylum” opens with a creative riff, along with some background ambiance. It moves forward quickly, and this is a little closer to what I was hoping for. They create this harrowing layer that feels evil and heinous. A key change after the half-way mark sends the song to a different place altogether. “Don Quichotte” is a quick, three-and-a-half-minute blast of heavy, angry music, complete with pig squeals in the guitars. There isn’t much in the way of melody here, and it almost sound like straight Death Metal.

“Divine” begins with a hateful sound. The vocalist is sure good at the harsh vocals, but again, it limits the reach of the band. I understand that many bands just won’t (or can’t) embrace clean vocals, but even a little does offer some needed variation from the heavy sound. “J'ai vu” opens with a marching sound from the riff. There is some dissonance in the guitar work as well. I daresay this album is closer to Death Metal and Melodic Death Metal, in my opinion. “Les éphémères” brings more of that tough and weighted sound. There is just a bit of melody in the guitars but it’s fairly hard to dig up.

“Hellgates” opens with a bomb going off…POW! Exploding into the first verse, there are some nice moments of melody from the lead guitar work. There is also a short-lived but nice little interlude. Overall, the pounding sound is unrelenting. “Les mains” is a six-minute closing song. It begins with more of those guttural vocals and dissonant guitars. As I mentioned earlier, this barely has enough melody to be labeled as “Melodic Death Metal.” There are moments, but they are few and far between. Without a certain level of melody, most music is ruined for me. There are some exceptions, but I find this fairly mediocre overall.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 3
Production: 8

2 Star Rating

1. Huit temps pour rien
2. Ordo ab Chao
3. Asylum
4. Don Quichotte
5. Divine
6. J'ai vu
7. Les éphémères
8. Hellgates
9. Les mains
Record Label: M&O Music


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