Released: 2003, Napalm
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.