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The rest of Europe still has to wait,* Scandinavian fans can already enjoy the anniversary output of the Finns Before The Dawn – that reached the top of Finnish Single Charts right after its release. A well deserved success, after a decade at the Metal front, delivering solid high quality work year after year - without becoming boring or repeating themselves.
And they even pull that off when "recycling" is done with full intention - like with the opener “Decade of Darkness” which gives a pretty personal summary of the past 10 years by using song titles in the lyrics – and are there also musical references? Well, that´s something for die-hard-fans to ponder over...
You can expect high ear candy-factor and pleasant spine-tingling also when listening to the following (new) songs, a grooving mid-tempo “End of Days”, the ballad-ish “Insomnia” characterized by acoustic guitar and Lars´ expressive voice, and a pretty rough´n heavy “Painless”. Its live version right afterwards shows that those guys indeed know their craft, without studio effects.
Deadsong, in a way their “Smoke On The Water”, appears also twice here, once as live performance and once as “Symphony Version”. Just that title made me shiver in a panic attack – recorded with Lahti Philharmonic Orchestra? As gooey-kitschy-pathetic just like the unnecessary Metallica S/M?? But – NO – what relief, this is a bitter-sweet “Deadsong” - sparse instrumentation based on piano and cello, carried mainly by Lars´ impressive and variable voice that gets every chance to shine. NICE.
Anybody who knows the band already doesn´t need any recommendation anyway... And who doesn´t know the band yet – well, you definitely missed something, and this is the perfect “gateway drug”. A possible side effect, like a severe Before The Dawn-addiction, be it CD or live, has to be mentioned here... so I can claim that I warned you...
1. Decade Of Darkness
2. End Of Days
5. Painless (Live)
6. Deadsong (Live)
7. Deadsong (Symphony version)
(* the EU release will be out in September, via CYCLONE EMPIRE, with exclusive Bonus-DVD "Live at SUMMER BREEZE 2009")