Dawnwalker – Ages: Album Review

Dawnwalker release Ages. Experimental metal that moves into longer-form pieces as the Earth dies a slow death.

Release date: 4th December 2020

Label: Self released / Bandcamp

Format: DL / vinyl / CD

The follow up to 2018’s Human Remains is a record that sees Dawnwalker exploring longer form arrangements. It’s the story of a dying world told in large swathes of dominant and defiant heaviness crossed with dashes of ambient post-rock. Several vignettes link the longer pieces and pull the album into a whole.

Led by songwriter Mark Norgate, a haunting industrial cloud washes over by way of an introduction to The Wheel. A track that in ten minutes gives a hint as to what’s to come. Segueing gently, the intensity increases until halfway through we’re faced with a brutality and screaming vocal that explodes into an unanticipated violence.

It’s the first of four tracks that hover around the ten minute plus mark which are all tremendous. Ancient Sands a shrill travelogue whose bursts of demonic vocals come early accompanied by some raw incantations. There’s barely any let-up in an intense twelve minutes of focussed deliverance. The need for setting up the pastoral intervals that allow a moment to breathe is never more welcome. Burning World is much more languid journey. Building around a brooding mood although a mighty Byzantine riff incites a massive instrumental passage just after the halfway marker

Colony . A Gathering (which has just confused the Grammar checker) sees Dawnbreaker transform mid-track, from Camel into Tool. A lovely pastoral piece complete with flute sounds gets picked off by a juddering rhythm where the apparent complexity of time signatures is impressively constructed. The instruments focus on their own parts and somehow it all comes together. Gold star for the most impressive five minute slice of the album.

Ending with a reflection over the folly and the presence of man, a huge apocalyptic climax brings down the curtain on a set that confirms that refusing to be bound by the boundaries of genre works. The Cataclysm succinctly brings closure to the devastation as the decision and ambition to explore extended arrangements hit paydirt.

Listen to The Wheel on bandcamp

And – check out Mark Norgate’s Why I Love on Kayo Dot here


Dawnwalker online: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bandcamp

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