When you listen to Dawn’s second album, you can have this amazing experience as if it was recorded in 1972 as if it was released during its golden-era of Progressive Rock. Dawn has been around since their formation nine years ago in their hometown in Montreux, Switzerland. They capture the vintage sound of the genre and have opened for Kansas and Fish. Alongside as opening act, Dawn also performed in Prog festivals as well including Montreux Prog Nights, Progsol, and Prog’sud Festival in France.
The band released their debut album, Loneliness back in 2007 and now this year with Darker, it shows that it has an eerie, haunting, and touching wonder on their follow up released on The Laser’s Edge label. In Dawn, the band considers; Rene Degoumois on Lead Vocals and Guitar, Nicolas Gerber on Keyboards, Julien Vuataz on Bass, and Manu Linder on Drums.
Opener, Yesterday’s Sorrow, begins with a mourning organ and rises of the cymbals setting the tone before the synth and mellotron come kicking off in with a homage to Premiata Forneria Marconi’s Storia Di Un Minuto-era as it segues into the sinister heavy guitar lines along with the keyboards get buckling up for unbelievable results with Cold. Degoumois and Gerber create these wonderful atmospheric spacey yet symphonic structures between the two of them as their instruments are in the outer limits ready to go into infinite worlds.
The 10-minute title track, goes into the voyages of Space Rock as it heads into the veins of a haunting reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here-era in there for the first three minutes before adding the classical touches flown in with the organ and mellotron bringing the sounds of early Genesis flowing by. Then Julien’s bass comes onto the movement as he, Rene, Nicolas, and Manu do some laid-back improvisations as Nicolas’ guitar, has a crying sound in the passages as Rene’s vocals and Nicolas’s organ sing the melody together, it’s a perfect fit.
Lullabies for Gutterflies, is a whimsical, ominous, and graceful instrumental. It begins with this Merry-Go-Round dystopian carousel that Nicolas does with Rhodes, Mellotron, ‘80s Synths as it first is happily enjoyful, but then turns into a nightmare as if something terrible has happened as he goes through this loop but then changes from major to minor chords before the groove kicks in. The next epic in which is 18-minutes long, 8945, is one of the most mind-blowing pieces I’ve ever heard that has an anti-war filled with emotions, horror, and the aftermath of the bombings that occurred sixty-nine years ago when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were hit by the “Fat Man” nuclear bomb on August 9th, 1945.
This piece sets the atmosphere and tone of the aftermath. It just hits you so hard you can imagine what the survivors had to go through. And Dawn creates the tension and the mood of the composition as it has a lot of emotional touches from the keyboards and guitar that has the touches of Robert Fripp, spoken word dialog by 33rd President Harry S. Truman, and haywire effects that is straight out of Genesis The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway of haywire guitar effects, cluttering drum kits that has Linder off the wall in the style of Jamie Muir, glass breaking, and moog setting the screeching noises before the organ gives it a mourning call and then back into the climatic finale of the instruments coming together as one.
Out of Control is a joyous and embracing composition that gives Gerber himself some free rein. You can imagine him having a great time playing the Organ and Synth that almost as if he had done a score for one of the games of the ‘80s during Nintendo’s heyday and there at times that reminded me of Yes and Triumvirat. However on Lost Anger, its back to the haunting symphonic structures as Gerber, Vuataz, and Linder do an improvisation with a Jazzy vibe before Rene comes in the picture and they are now as one with a stirring effect before they close the curtains on the 10-minute piece, Endless.
The band are now combined into one and set the controls inside the ship to head back home to Earth as they take their instruments to bring the adventure to a stimulating ending that would make you give them a standing ovation and applause of how much they have done an amazing job from start to finish. This is my introduction to the band’s music and I have to say I am blown away from what I’ve listened to after listening about five times and they are the band to really check out.
So if you love bands like; Anglagard, King Crimson, Cressida, and Caravan to name a few, Dawn is highly recommended to enjoy the sounds of the inspiration and influential sounds of what you are about to experience the moment you put your headphones on and embark an amazing journey that you are about to embark on.