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Golden Dawn
Masquerade
July 2003
Released: 2003, Napalm
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Imagine that King Diamond merged with old Moonspell and in some sort of unholy union you might get the sonic equivalent of Golden Dawn. This band is diverse, dynamic and interesting.



Initially I gave this CD quite a high grade. Over a few listens I dropped that grade ever-so slightly based fact that I felt the songs lacked cohesion and focus. I still hold that opinion but I bumped my grade back up because I now understand what the band is trying to do.



Golden Dawn (with their wimpy, uninspiring name) seem to throw everything into these songs. We have clean vocals, black vocals, deep somber vocals (ala Fernando) power metal style solos, harpsichord, keyboards, acoustic stuff, fast parts, slow parts, I mean these guys are all over the metal map. It seems they have mastered all but perfected none. I think that is where the songs suffer there is so much going on it seems difficult to get a grip on it all.



After a while I appreciated what is was they are trying to do and I will always admire a newer band that pushes those boundaries and avoid the oft-near fatal mistake of playing it safe when trying to develop a signature sound or unique identity.



The band had a debut called THE ART OF DREAMING in 1996 which went under my radar but I’ll certainly try to pick it up now. If it is half as good as this I’ll be satisfied. The band could work on presentation a little bit. Like I said, GD have a dull name, a dull album title, a dull front cover, (a chick standing on the stairs) and really schizophrenic songs and songwriting, but these factors should be overlooked as the positive outweigh the negative. I only hope that people will not judge the band on initial and perhaps superficial impressions and give them a chance.



The production is excellent, good mix, nice tempo tons of time changes, lots of very diverse elements …there are many good qualities about this band. Track two, is an instrumental called ‘Doomsday Celebration’ which has some power metal elements coming across like a heavier Rhapsody which is a good thing. Track four, ‘Where Dragons Reign’ has an epic pagan quality to it with a slower tempo, acoustic underpinnings and the feel of a Viking ballad.



Open-minded fans of a variety of styles of metal should appreciate this pretty unique band and in this day being unique is hard to do. They fit perfectly on the progressive roster of the adventurous Napalm label. Check out the band at http://www.napalmrecords.com.
Track Listing

1. Silent Inferno
2. Doomsday Celebration
3. Alive and Immortal?
4. Where Dragons Reign
5. Masquerade
6. Enthralled By Unknown Dimensions
7. Unborn Again
8. A Memory’s Reflection
9. Sic Transit Gloria Mundi
10. Angel

Lineup

Stefan Traunmuller-Vocals, keys
Karim Kienzle-Guitar
Sebastian Reiter-Bass
Moritz Neuner-Drums

Contact

N/A

Other reviews

» Masquerade
by JP

» Masquerade
by Rick


Next review: » Golden Dawn - Masquerade
Previous review: » Gojira - The Way of All Flesh

Golden Dawn
Masquerade
May 2003
Released: 2003, Napalm Records
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Rick

I will admit to knowing nothing about this band. The cover artwork was what drew me to this CD at first. It is a computer generated picture of sprawling outdoor marble staircase with its focal point being a beckoning lady. What made it stand out was the simplicity of the piece more so than its connection to the music. The band itself is a bit of an oddity. Billed as melodic black metal by some, they are hard to pigeonhole. Yes there are some black metal elements but there are many other facets that constitute the bands sound. Formed by Stefan Traunmuller in 1992 as an outlet for his black metal proclivities by 1996 Golden Dawn had risen through the ranks of Austrian metal to sign with Dark Matter Records and begin work on their debut release THE ART OF DREAMING. Traunmuller was joined by a number of session musicians along with Thomas Tannenburger of Abigor. While recording the bands next CD the label folded and Traunmuller finished the disc in his home studio. In 2001 Traunmuller joined with guitarists Sebastian Reiter and Karim Kienzle to record MASQUERADE. After more label problems and the addition of drummer Moritz Neuner Masquerade is finally ready to release on the world.



The music on this disc is hard to describe. One thing is certain, keyboards play a large part in the sound of Golden Dawn. “Silent Inferno” opens the disc with swirling keyboards that lead into a crunchy guitar driven track. Tranmueller mixes of the vocals between a gothic croon and a black metal shriek with the song alternating between blast beats and straight ahead metal. Mueller throws a wrench in the works with “Alive and Immortal”. This is his take on powermetal and with his ever present keyboards the band creates an interesting take on the much used powermetal formula. “Enthralled by Unknown Dimensions” is a mix of powermetal and black metal blastbeats all sandwiched in with gothic laced deep vocals. This is a sound that works quite well within the confines of Golden Dawn. MASQUERADE is closed out by the song “Angel”. On this track the vocals are performed by a female (though I can’t find her name) while the song is hypnotic with Traunmueller’s love of electronic and ambient music meshing with an underlying gothic sensibility similar to Lacuna Coil or Tristania.



The atmosphere of this CD is chaotic to a certain extent. Chaotic in the sense that the songs cross genres easily and often. This schizophrenia is not only between songs but also within each song. I am sure there is a method to the madness that is Golden dawn. I am sure that MASQUERADE will appeal those who don’t mind their bands coloring outside the lines when it comes to their style of metal. If variety is the spice for your life check out Golden Dawn.
Track Listing

n/a

Lineup

n/a

Contact

N/A

Other reviews

» Masquerade
by JP

» Masquerade
by Rick


Next review: » Golden Resurrection - Glory To My King
Previous review: » Gojira - The Way of All Flesh





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