They simply do not get more underrated, underappreciated, and/or unsung as this one folks! This now-deceased Doom/Death-band from Orange County, California, achieved something so dreadfully beautiful here that I remain in eternal confusion as to how this masterpiece did not get the notoriety it more-than-deserved. Sure, many magazines praised the hell out of it, but did the readers listen? Not the majority of them it seems. Pitiful...
And how did I happen upon this? Back in '96, browsing the USED section at my CD-store, saw the cover, looked cool, bought it, loved it. There was a time where this was the ONLY thing that played in my stereo for an entire month! I could go on and on about my highly personal experiences with "Dawning". If divine intervention exists, my obtaining this album, at such a time in my life, is one such example.
Opening title-track: absolutely gut-wrenching in its dark fortitude. It clenches at the deepest recesses of the soul, setting an almost ritualistic atmosphere for the rest of the album. Vocalist Adrian Leroux is just...I mean...wow! He really sounds like an invocator of the dark forces of the underworld. Switching from Death-roars to vintage-ANATHEMA-wails on a dime, the sullen pain in his voice is a sound to behold.
Musically, this could be called Atmospheric Goth Metal, but its heaviness would, in my eyes, put it somewhat in the Death Metal-category as well. The emphasis, however, is on dynamics. The band is not afraid to use keyboards, movie samples (sometimes as "motifs" from which an entire song is built, as in "Burden"), clean guitar passages, the sound of ocean waves and rainstorms, and anything else to make the song more colourful and deep. Drummer Evan Seinfeld is of the dexterity of a Gene Hoglan - fast, crafty, and ballsy. The other musicians just follow his sure-footed lead, and in the end it's all just so...so...ooohhhh...so DEVASTATING! Gets better with every listen.
The songs themselves are long, mutating beasts, scavenging the soul for prey, making a slow, delicious feast of the mind and, ultimately, the sanity! And hey, is the loss of sanity not EVERY Metalhead's goal in life? How can you resist this temptation? You should be scouring eBay for this rarity right now!
Anyway, I cannot put into words what this album means to me. Maybe I'm being a tad personal or biased, but alas...I do not care! Some albums are just "like that" for some of us, if you're a music-lover, you most certainly must know what I mean, and if not, you should! What else can I do but say: seek at all costs!!! Perfection in pre-packaged shrink-wrap, what more do you need?