Before The Dawn – My Darkness
Before The Dawn is: Panu Willman doing vocals and playing guitar, Tuomas Saukkonen playing guitar and doing “dark voice”, Toni Broman playing bass, Dani Miettinen playing drums, and Mika Ojala on keys. Tuomas formed BTD in 1999 as a solo project but he soon decided to have other members join and start the band. This CD is the first album release. Prior to this album a mix CD and demo have been released. For more information on the band, visit their web site.
1. Intro: Purely an instrumental. Actually, it’s almost entirely electronic. It begins with what sounds like noises you hear in a spacecraft of some sort, then a slight drum rhythm, and finally a single guitar plucks its way into the song. It’s a short intro and it molds into the 2nd song seamlessly. You wouldn’t know the track changed if you weren’t paying attention to the CD player.
2. Unbreakable: The song name on the CD backing and CD booklet is spelled “Unbrakeable”, yet on their web site and information from the Internet it is spelled correctly as “Unbreakable.” So, which is it guys? Are you morons or was it a purposeful thing? Anyhow, the song presents good melody and great rhythm but the vocals are growled/hissed and that sucks.
3. Seraphim: A decent song… It has good structure and the melody is there, my ears just aren’t attracted to it. The vocalist sounds like Phil Collins and I don’t like Phil Collins. The song does encompass a good mixture of thrash style beats and a mellower tempo as well.
4. My Darkness: This song sounds too much like the previous. Slight variations and the vocals are growled make up the difference. Suck ass track.
5. Take My Pain: This song has an Alternative feel to it as it begins. Good guitar riffs but shittier growling. Rhythm is good and melody is there but the vocalist impedes yet another song from being a well-rounded track. If the lyrics were sung and perhaps the song was a bit shorter I would say it could maker a good radio single.
6. Father And Son: This is a good song. Distorted guitar riffs, good rhythm, well sung, and a mix of growling. I like a song that can be sung and mix in a little growling here and there.
7. Alone: The song begins with an odd, but cool, sounding guitar as drums fade in ever so softly and eventually a 2nd guitar rolls in to begin a heavier beat. The growling begins, unfortunately, and the pace quickens. The guitars in this song are cool shit and odd sounds are sneaked in the background through out the entire song, so keep your ears opened for the small things. The small things make the song.
8. Angel: A pretty boring song. Much resemblance to a couple other songs off this album. There’s singing mixed with growling, which I enjoy, but the sound of the song does nothing for me. The drums, guitars, bass lines, keys, everything involved sounds too familiar.
9. Undone: The song starts out resembling an Alternative style. Growling ensues and I become annoyed. The song isn’t too bad; it’s just that goddamn growling again. The guitars, bass, drums, and general feel of the song is good and the structure is well done, but I truly believe this band would be much better off singing instead of growling so much.
10. Human Hatred: For a song called Human Hatred it certainly is soft. I was expecting some good rough Metal and blood curdling vocals discussing how much people suck. Not the case. The song is composed of weak guitar rhythms, weak vocals, soft lyrics, and nothing special melodically. It’s a rather boring song actually.
11. 04:16 AM: A very slow song. This track makes me drowsy. Don’t listen to this track if you’re driving, it will put you in a coma from boredom. The song, for the most part, is an instrumental. It has four versus which take all of about 10 seconds to spit out then the rest of the song is instrumental. It’s a slow paced song and dreadfully uninteresting.
Many of the songs on this album seem to be spiritually derived. I don’t necessarily mind that sort of thing as long as the songs sound good. System of a Down has many songs that are spiritually inspired and they maintain great sound and catchy tunes. SOAD puts out badass songs regardless of the inspiration and to me that makes or breaks a band. Before The Dawn has struggled to keep my interest through out this entire album. The excessive growling is mind numbing and much of the sung lyrics resemble Phil Collins. I don’t like Phil Collins. The problem I see with so many bands, including this one, is lack of originality. There are a few songs off of this album that I feel resemble one another far too much. That’s not acceptable to me. I want to hear an original sound for every single track off of the album I’m listening to. If I hear the same shit more than once, I feel I’ve been ripped off. Artistic integrity relies on originality. Let me get off the soapbox and get back to this album. The songs are a mixture of soft, spiritual, slightly heavy, and sometimes electronic. All of these elements combined by BTD make up very little worthwhile material. On a scale of 1-10 I give this album a 4.
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