Album Review: In Strange Aeons… by Crimson Dawn

562307_10151404829560749_1209439880_nIn the realm of heavy metal album reviews the word ‘epic’ gets abused more than a nubile young girl on the set of the latest Rocco Sifreddi flick.  It gets poked in every possible angle and more than often gets stuck where it doesn’t belong.  By definition the word should solely be used to describe something of or relating to a literary epic poem, or the poem itself (eg. The Iliad or Beowulf).  It’s in there, in the music reviewer mind we oft confuse and misuse the word for something that sounds heroic (Ensiferum), huge or gargantuan (Moonsorrow), or fantastical (pick nearly any power metal band).  My favorite misuse of the word is when I wish to describe a feeling of a Herculean musical journey that would make the Fellowship of the Ring jealous.

And why the hell am I talking about the word ‘epic’ in an album review?  Well because the band Crimson Dawn have self-proclaimed Epic Doom Metal as their genre, and quite honestly, it genuinely fits with what is contained on their debut album, In Strange Aeons…  As a whole, all of their elements fit with every misuse and correct use of the word.  Throughout the course of the record you will go on a long journey crossing fantastical soundscapes encountering heroic riffs, towering song structures, and massive grooves.  All with this hint of flair that will bring to mind some of those ancient epic poems that you I love so much.  Epic is really the only word I can find that simply describes the whole of Crimson Dawn’s sound, so I will use and abuse it.

The epic-ness gets rolling with the instrumental intro tune “Forge of the Aeons” which gives off a very Roman, Blind Guardian-esque feel and delightfully plays with your expectations as it leads into the journey up the Candlemass inspired “Tower of Sin”.  The nice trick on how the intro music works with the next track is that we have been so conditioned to hear a speedy, aggressive song after like intros, that when the mid-paced, groove-laden doom riffing kicks in, the contrast and the expectation makes the already thundering riffing that much more thunderous.  Genius album pacing and structuring.  It also helps that “Tower of Sin” is serious one hell of a journey filled with psychedelic and progressive tendencies such as an engaging variety of tempos and a killer break filled with a twister of Hammond organ that wonderfully personify the spiral nature of said tower.

“March of the Masters of Doom” finds the Crimson Dawn really starting to make a statement that they aren’t your average Epic Metal or Doom Metal band as a nifty little folky intro rings in a flash of traditional style heavy metal that weaves in and out of doom riffing and anthemic vocal lines and lead guitars and killer guitar solo work.  Again, the pacing and variety of tempos keep things interesting and therefore engaging, but never deviate from the core song to give a jarring effect.

561289_10150708338675749_777391697_nAs the album goes on you’ll start to notice that for how committed to the theme of ‘epic’ the band is, there is a lot of variety ranging from ballads to big ol’ headbangers.  I really couldn’t find a moment throughout the entire record where I wasn’t totally in thrall with the music.  Even when the band walks on shaky ground with the ‘theme song’ “Crimson Dawn” which could have turned out to be a masturbatory cheese-fest yet is a fist raising anthem of heroic proportions.  Or when they aim for the multi-faceted ‘long song’ on “Siege of the Golden Citadel” which often leads to either a disjointed mess or snoozefest in the hands of many over-ambitious acts.  Here the tune flows from scene to scene really painting a picture of an epic battle and its many emotions ranging from the calm before the storm to the full on siege to the revel in victory.  Simply smashing music and easily one of my favorite songs of the year.

All in all, In Strange Aeons is a triumph of a debut album that I whole-heartedly recommend you give a listen to (many times over).  There is variety and depth, and most importantly originality.  My sole gripe with the album only came from the vocals, where the singer has more of a traditional heavy metal style voice and my ears are more accustomed something more deeper when hearing doom riffs.  But that little grievance was squashed by Thor’s hammer by the time I immediately started up my second playback of the album.  This is an Epic debut from Crimson Dawn and its epicness will make you epically thrash thy head to and fro and grow an epic beard whilst reciting passages of epic literature and slaughtering heathens with your epic +2 STR. Bastard Sword of Doom.  Peace Love and Metal!!!!

In Stange Aeons… will be released Sept. 2013 through My Graveyard Productions.  You can keep up with news and stuff with the band on Facebook (Linky).

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About RiffRaff

Just takin' it easy for all you sinners.

Posted on September 2, 2013, in Album Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. “This is an Epic debut from Crimson Dawn and its epicness will make you epically thrash thy head to and fro and grow an epic beard whilst reciting passages of epic literature and slaughtering heathens with your epic +2 STR. Bastard Sword of Doom.”
    Hahahahaha 😀

    *combs my quickly growing epic beard with my fingers*
    “O thou invisible spirit of wine, if thou hast no name to be known by, let us call thee devil.”

    I totally agree with your review, and I don’t usually like this style of metal much. That is a huge compliment. It’s very interesting and enjoyable music. The guitars are so much fun to listen to, and so is the bass. I love the drums and the chorus in ‘Black Waters’, that song and the lengthy ‘Siege At the Golden Citadel’ are my favourites right now. This will be the first (epic) doom album in my collection.

  2. Doom, in this sense, is a bit tough for me to get into, but since I took your recommendation and finally got a Black Sabbath album (Greatest Hits 1970-1978) from my local library this door is opening a bit wider. I favored the more melodic doom stuff, but Crimson Dawn is just deep…doomy…doom for lack of better words. I like how this song picks up speed a few minutes into it with the guitar and keys trading off on solos.

    Excellent, very accurate and thorough review!

  3. Entertaining review. I will definitely check it out. The Iliad is ready for recital, my beard in the making, now all I need is a sword:-p

  1. Pingback: Mik’s Best Albums of 2013, part 1 | A Metal State of Mind

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