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Dark at Dawn - s/t 4/5

Reviewed: 12-15-06


1. The alliance
2. Dark and dawn
3. Avalon
4. Crossbreed
5. Roses of light
6. Road to eternity
7. Fearless
8. The passage
9. The ones with fiery eyes
10. Glorius duty
11. Sons of the sea

It is with great sadness that I must start this review of the latest Dark At Dawn CD by telling you that this will be the last Dark At Dawn CD. The German dark power metal band announcing the split-up shortly after this release, and it’s a damn shame too. The band were never popular in the metal world, never received any press (good or bad) and had line-up problems for the last few years, but yet were such an awesome band. It’s a pity that they have split-up before receiving their well deserved dues.

For those learning about Dark At Dawn for the first time now, the band’s vocalist Thorsten “Buddy” Kohlrausch created the band back in 1993 and is (was) the heart and soul of the band. His voice is very unique and great to listen to. The only 2 people I could barely compare his voice to, is a combination of Lemmy Kilmister from Motorhead and a deeper sounding version of Udo Dirkschneider from U.D.O./Accept.

‘Dark at dawn’ is the band’s 4th (and final) CD, and in my opinion, their best too. Dark At Dawn play a darker side of true power metal, and are similar to bands like early Savatage and Virgin Steele. What you hear is just straightforward crunchy and melodic guitars, lots of heavy bass, all mixed with technical drumming and Buddy’s gruff but passionate vocals making the songs sound so much better.

As I mentioned before, I believe ‘Dark at dawn’ is their best CD. The reasons for this are the better production on the CD (and the previous CD), after the band joined AFM Records after being with Iron Glory Records. This CD is probably their most consistent of the 4, the songwriting being their strongest and most creative. My picks for the better tracks on the CD include the fantastic heavy ballad “Avalon”, the melodic “Roses of light”, the thundering “Road to eternity”, “The ones with fiery eyes” and the short but sweet rocker “Fearless”.

Overall, I really like this CD. Considering the pressure the band was under with an unstable line-up since their 2nd full-length CD (‘Crimson frost’) and being able to keep going knowing they had a small fanbase, is just fantastic. One thing I should mention is that the drummer, Torsten Sauerbrey (an original member of the band), also did the guitars on this CD. He also had double duty on Dark At Dawn’s 3rd CD, ‘Of decay and desire’.

So if you are into power metal, in the true sense of the word, I strongly urge you to not only pick up this latest CD, but also their previous CDs; ‘Baneful skies’ (1999), ‘Crimson frost’ (2001), ‘Of decay and desire’ (2003) and also ‘First beams of light’ (2002), which is a compilation CD where they have re-recorded all songs from their 2 demo CDs and their EP (originally done between 1993-1995).

Farewell, Dark At Dawn... you will be missed...




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