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Undawn - Solidarity Award winner

by Ashley O'Brien at 29 January 2020, 4:08 AM

UNDAWN released their third album, “Solidarity” in November of 2019. They describe themselves as “melodic metalcore from the Netherlands,” and they deliver. “Solidarity” is bold and bright, brimming with gorgeous melodies to get stuck in your head, deep, bruising metal guitar riffs that will make your body shake, and fast, heavy drums to make your head bang.  The two vocalists play off each other, with clean vocals and unclean vocals interacting like a call and response.

The album is short. With five tracks, it only runs about a half hour long, but this half hour is tight. Every song is masterful. Every song is worth playing on repeat. Every song ties together to make this album listen like it’s the same story. The second song, “Implode,” comes across at first listen as gimmicky. A low, growling voice says “implode/ implode/ the way it sticks in your throat,” in tense deliberate beats, before screaming it as the music lights up. This song goes from gimmicky to great in a heartbeat. The song is like multiple songs in one, seamlessly strummed together. The implode part bookends a  pounding anthem about being strong enough to heal and move on, telling listeners “this is your chance to start all over, be yourself again.”

Solidarity” is a very serious album. There is not an ounce of mirth throughout it, making this album designed for passionate listening, not casually upbeat fodder. What is perhaps most refreshing and surprising is the seriousness of their lyrics. The entire album appears dedicated to living your best life, and the band wants you, no, demands that you give the energy, focus and attention this goal needs. It doesn’t happen on accident

Nostalgia” best captures the drama the band brings to this conversation. The music and lyrics during the verse are good. Then the chorus comes. The beat. The guitar. The screaming vocals. It is a moment of perfection. And what is he saying during this music marvel? “Stay positive/never say die/never look back/never ask why.” From them it’s an order, and listeners better d as they're told. In some ways UNDAWN sounds a lot like other metalcore bands, and yet they sound and feel like they are doing something brand new, something refreshing and bright.

Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Head of Doubt
2. Implode
3. Comfort Zone
4. Learn the Hard Way
5. Nostalgia
Michiel Brinkhuis - Guitar, Lead Vocals
Leon Kloosterman - Guitar, Vocals
Thijs Brinkhuis - Bass, Vocals
Tom Brinkhuis - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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