Dawnbringer "In Sickness and in Dreams" CDPosted on Tuesday, January 30th, 2007 @ 9:10am » permalink
Dawnbringer's prolific key visionary Chris Black is also known for his involvement with Pharaoh and Superchrist (and formerly Nachtmystium), which may have something to do with the fact that "In Sickness and in Dreams" is the first release in six years to bear the Dawnbringer name (and first for Battle Kommand Records). To call this outing a "full-length" might be a stretch, as despite the fact that the tracklist includes a whopping 14 songs, none of them hit the three-minute mark, and most are fewer than two, so the total running is actually just under 25 minutes. In many ways the bulk of the riffing herein is driven by loads of New Wave of British Heavy Metal-influenced runs that fly the flag of traditional heavy metal, while more of a snarled vocal performance and a zippy sense of speed/tremolo picking attack lend a darker, more modern/aggressive tone to the end result. The appearance of the tracklist seems to be divided into three segments, with the counterparts "11:58" and "Midnight" falling smack in the middle of the disc. These are also the only two tracks that contain a "singing" vocal approach that falls somewhere along a midrange Halford/King Diamond fusion that – to be totally honest – sounds too forced and simply "not quite there" to be very effective. So many odd moves certainly make for a strange yet curious release, but while I personally disagree with some of the decisions made (the aforementioned brief shift in vocal technique and the fact that the two tracks ending the opening/closing phases of the album both end with sharp cuts to silence, for example), this is indeed an enjoyable listen that tends to grow on me with each subsequent spin. I've read numerous complaints citing that the album is somewhat disjointed and inconclusive, but I disagree. As shockingly short as they are, I actually find the individual compositional elements of the album to feel surprisingly effective in terms of "completeness", and even those minor areas that rub me the wrong way seem to be wholly intentional choices on behalf of the artist, so… it's peculiar, and in some ways suggestive of greater capabilities not necessarily demonstrated in full herein, but it's also a good record. That's the bottom line.
Buy it if you like it, 'cause that's the only way: