Before the Dawn
Rise of the Phoenix

1. Exordium
2. Pitch-Black Universe
3. Phoenix Rising
4. Cross To Bear
5. Throne Of Ice
6. Perfect Storm
7. Fallen World
8. Eclipse
9. Closure


Tuomas Saukkonen - Vocals, Guitars, Keys
Pyry Hanski - Bass
Joonas Kauppinen - Drums
Juho Räihä - Guitars (lead)

My Darkness (2003)
4:17 am (2004)
The Ghost (2006)
Deadlight (2007)
Soundscape of Silence (2008)
Deathstar Rising (2011)



Released 27/4-2012
Reviewed 26/4-2012

nuclear blast

There are things rising in the latest albums by Before the Dawn, deathstars and phoenixes can be seen rising lately at the hands of this finnish band. They have lost two members and gained two new ones since their latest effort Deathstar Rising which I found being a slightly interesting album but as I wasn’t to review it I had no real time to look into it more carefully but I think it sounded good from what I heard so it was with some anticipation I was getting into this album which happens to be the seventh of the band. It is supposed to pick up from the ashes of the changes since the latest album and be the heaviest and most epic album by the band so far according to frontman Tuomas Saukkonen. One thing that is striking at first glance is the cover art that has the same feel as the one on Deathstar Rising and that must be said to bode well for this album as well.

I recall Deathstar Rising being a rather varied and catchy album in the extreme metal genre and while this album remains extreme it does not feel as though it has much in common with Deathstar Rising. It is not catchy, the vocals are dark and moody and not particularly varied at that, the guitars are recognisable with a catchy sound which most often falls in behind the vocals thus having less of an impact. Overall it is like the vocals takes a commanding position and reduces everything else to background and that has its bearing on the soundscape’s structure as well, the instrumental parts tend to feel a bit quiet almost. Still, it sounds quite finnish and if you know Insomnium you could use that as a reference as they are in the same area of the musical map. The album is rather short with its 40 minutes and nine tracks, the variation during these is not that grande but there are touches of variation.

Well, I found Deathstar Rising being rather good when listening to it now again also, I don’t find this being that, more like it being rather poor. The songs feels generally boring, sure it might be their heaviest effort yet, at least heavier than Deathstar but not really more epic than it and certainly not more catchy which was the best part of Deathstar Rising, the catchiness. The main problem with this album are the vocals, they are terrible there’s no other word for it. I think they drown what is good about the album because in the background there are some great things going on but all hidden from view by these god awful vocals that just makes me feel tired and bored and also bored. This album feels like it is one boring album that just sounds like every other wannabe melodic extreme metal band out there, completely uninteresting with some flashes of genius stuffed away somewhere well hidden from view. I am actually slightly disappointed by this album, I was hoping that it would at least have something worth anything but this isn’t really it.

Sure it does not invoke vomiting or something like that but that isn’t really the way for a good album, there are also some good touches like the opening part of the ending song which is rather wonderful along with some fine guitarlines that is unfortunately well hidden behind drab vocals that bore me greatly. Rise of the Phoenix should not signify a rise for this band, rather the opposite as it is a drab dreary piece of music that bores me rather than entertains me. So better luck next time for these guys because this was not a good record.



Label: Nuclear Blast/Warner
Three similar bands: Insomnium/Katatonia/Scar Symmetry
Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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