Before The Dawn : Rise Of The Phoenix
Melodic death metal has had somewhat of a second wind in recent times. It had been showing signs of tiredness in the late 2000s, after a very healthy period earlier that decade. Very strong albums from the likes of Omnium Gatherum, Insomnium and just recently Seven Horns Seven Eyes have injected some life back into the sub-genre.
Now Before the Dawn have picked up that baton and run with it as well. Rise Of The Phoenix is no less than their seventh album in the last nine years, but their quantity doesn’t seem to be affecting their quality at all, if this album is anything to go by. It is a very strong melo-death album, with all the trappings that make the sub-genre so compelling when done well. It’s that contrast between the crushing rhythms and the heaviness of the guitarist and the melody inherent in the music itself. That fine line is trodden with great precision on this record, and it’s a joy to behold.
The lack of variation in the vocals (which are virtually all dirty, the melody on this album comes strictly from the music) wears on the ears a little after a while. A few clean ups here and there would have shaken things up nicely.
But overall, Rise Of The Phoenix is a powerhouse record. The songwriting is tight, the production slick, fat and powerful and the musicianship exemplary. This is a worthy addition to the melodic death metal canon.
BY ROD WHITFIELD
Best Track: Cross To Bear
If You Like These, You'll Like This: DARK TRANQUILITY, BE’LAKOR, OMNIUM GATHERUM
In A Word: Balanced