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Released: 2003, Napalm Records
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.
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