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Strange New Dawn - Planet System

Strange New Dawn
Planet System
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 18 September 2020, 3:12 AM

STRANGE NEW DAWN released their first album “The Only One” back in 2015 on the Botteri twins’ birthday. Now it's 2020 and the goals for the band has changed.  Christian, Christopher and Sven are still going strong.  Roy is the new vocalist for the band and Morten has joined forces with the band too. “Planet System” contains 13 tracks.

“Heartfull of Stranger” opens the album. It opens with eerie keys and a bossy sound from the instruments, toying with you at first, with clean, solemn vocals and move slowly, allowing you to take it all in easily. It builds with some momentum. Roy is more of a baritone singer, with a slight rasp in his vocals. When the full sound develops, it’s melancholy and dark, but I am not picking up many Progressive elements here. “Eternal World” opens with a mid-tempo riff that is both powerful and dark. They really have their own sound here, it’s pretty unusual.  I can’t really think of another band who sounds like them. It makes sense…because they describe their style as “Doom Metal, Prog Metal, Prog Rock, Avant-Garde, Experimental Rock, Heavy Metal, Metal.”

“Finally Saved” opens with spacey keys and some light vocals. That darkness is still pretty pronounced…these guys are not about thing that live and prosper in daylight. It’s more about what lurks in the shadows. At just before the half-way mark, distorted guitars are added, then a slow ending with just keys and bass guitar notes. “Waiting for the Day” opens with slow and steady bass guitar notes and drums. Guitar notes are sporadic at first. When the vocals come in, I definitely get a Doom Metal feeling. It’s sort of a Metal version of THE CURE in some ways. “Before the Millennium” opens with full instrumentation, and I can hear now the limitations created by the vocalist. He prefers to say within a low/mid-range, keeping the song dark and the sound depressing. The song also features some ambient passages as well.

“The Symphony of the Universe” opens with more of those spacey keys, and solemn vocals, with a slow/mid-tempo pace. The solemn and despondent tones come through strong here. But, they leave a little space for hope as well, but it’s a small sliver. “Vision and Sight” is a short, two-minute song, with another mid-tempo pace that drags it down a bit. “My Confession” is another mid-temp song, and I normally would remark about how too many mid-tempo songs can drag an album down, but that is their modus operandi apparently. Some positive tones come through here as well, but they might be lamentations, as the sound picks up with fervor and Roy goes for broke with a long and high held note, just before the lead break.

“Into Pandemonium” is yet another mid-tempo song that opens with a commanding guitar riff, with bass and drums in support. The sound is both depressing and a bit angry. It shifts suddenly, bringing some positive and hopeful tones towards the end. “Ashes to Dust” closes the album. Opening with clean guitar notes and a solemn tone, it almost reminds me of some of the ambient elements you get with Atmospheric Black Metal. The vocals are laments for sure…he is holding into something in vain.

Overall, this was an odd album that pleased me in some ways, and didn’t in others. What I described above about them sounding like a Heavy Metal version of THE CURE is pretty accurate. The album is all about depressing and melancholy songs, with a longing present that will play with your emotions of despair, and hopelessness. There is not much hope here at all. I would call it Dark Metal if I was forced to label it. But, it’s pretty unique, and unlike anything else that I have heard this year. Give it a spin, and see what thoughts it brings up for you.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Heartfull of Stranger
2. Eternal World
3. Symbol of Stones
4. Finally Saved
5. Waiting for the Day
6. Masterplan
7. Before the Millennium
8. Sky Creator
9. The Symphony of the Universe
10. Vision and Sight
11. My Confession
12. Into Pandemonium
13. Ashes to Dust
Roy Andersen
Morten Tiedemann
Sven Rothe
Christopher Botteri
Christian Botteri
Record Label: Death to Music Productions


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Edited 31 October 2020

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