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Now, for a change, it´s time for a slapping - 2 points max, and only because the cover looks kinda-nice. Simply impossible that every release of band mastermind Tuomas Saukkonen hits the mark, as he has so many different projects (besides Before The Dawn also Routasielu, The Final Harvest and Black Sun Aeon) – and the latter had just recently released the brilliant Blacklight Deliverance CD. Moreover, those distincive clean vocals are missing now, as Lars Eikind left the band (and also drummer Atte Palokangas); which means new guys, new sound – that just HAS to go down the drain.
So let´s put the CD in the player and some extra clothes on, in order to prevent any trace of goose flesh...
Intro... shit ….
Track 1 – shit shit
Track 2 – SHIT!
Sorry for raising false expectations, but this is not going to be a roasting after all.
And I doubt that any other media will be panning this band or this album.
„Shit“ as in „goose-flesh precautionary measures useless“: it´s already this keyboard-based I
intro that goes straight to the heart, followed by this powerful-epic „Pitch Black Universe“ with this catchy chorus, no matter that it´s growls-only. Then the title track with it´s Folk-ish chorus and this well-tempered piano in the final part – hello goose skin. If you manage to avoid it until this sad acoustic guitar / the chorus of „Throne of Ice“ you must be really tough. I bet it sends shivers down your spine even in Sauna...
No analysis of every single track here – I can only say that also the 7th Before The Dawn studio output can just be recommended. Saukkonen once again pulled it off, respectively lotsa Melo-Death ear candy out of his hat. Hypnotic hauting melodies mixed with aggressive riffs and brutal drums, and occasionally this lonely longing guitar or an inobtrusive keyboard chord takes on „the part of Lars“. I have to admit that I even caught myself thinking „Lars´ voice would fit here nicely“ during „Perfect Storm“ – but the Before The Dawn-Phoenix and this powerful,. almost symphonic sound leaves nothing to be desired. Headbangers get some new groove with „Fallen World“ (plus the „Unbreakable“ update as one of 3 bonus tracks on the German release). „Eclipse“ might be the band´s own hymn, and then the final „Closure“ – have I mentioned goose bumps already? You´ll even get more of it when listening to the bonus track „Deliverance“ ...
Conclusion: Once again blown away, cannot help it - 9,5 Elks.
2. Pitch-Black Universe
3. Phoenix Rising
4. Cross To Bear
5. Throne Of Ice
6. Perfect Storm
7. Fallen World
11.Unbreakable (2012 version)
<12. Reflection (taken from the very first BTD demo 1999) not on FIN release >
Before The Dawn:
Tuomas Saukkonen(Songwriting, growl vocals & guitars )
Pyry Hanski (Bass)
Juho Räihä (Guitars )
Joonas Kauppinen (Drums )