Taking Balfour
Dawn of Polaris

Label: Independent
Three similar bands: Rush/Tool/Faith No More

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Echoes
2. Neptune
3. The Watcher and The Witness
4. Awakening
5. The Jester’s Fool
6. Polaris
7. Touch and Go
8. Lightyears Away
9. T.O.A.D.
10. Purge of Darkness

Spencer Gill - Lead Vocals
Noah Anderson - Guitar, backup vocals
Orion Park - Bass guitar
Tim Paty - Drums
Zachary Culp - Keys/Samples

Taking Balfour (2020)



Released 2022-10-21
Reviewed 2022-10-09


läs på svenska

Dawn of Polaris is the second album by Canadian band Taking Balfour, the first one was released in 2020. So, the band that formed in 2019 is a new one, and their second album offers a cool-looking artwork, but is the music as cool? I am not so sure considering how little impression the album has made, despite me playing it more than twenty times already it is hard to find anything memorable about it. Their music is modern, and fresh in that regard, but it doesn’t really offer anything we haven’t really heard before.

Think of the more recent stuff by Rush and add some modern metal, and nu-metal touches and you have a fairly good idea what to expect from Dawn of Polaris. They have a good singer, they have a fresh modern sound, but Taking Balfour can’t use that to their advantage as their album lacks both the ideas and the depth. The sensible 41 minutes playing time feels more like well over the hour due to the lack of dynamics on this album. I would compare it to a modern superhero movie, it is all surface and nothing but cliché underneath.

Good enough to give a spin or two, but as soon as it ends it is forgotten – for me the memorable and great songs is what makes a great album, there is nothing like that on Dawn of Polaris. Shame with such a nice-looking cover. It looks more exciting that it is, and it is probably not the quickest of fixes to change that into something more exciting. Sure, Taking Balfour have things going for them, that nice, polished surface, and a good vocalist to name a few, but besides that? Where are the great songs, where are the fresh ideas, the ear-catching hooks, or anything else that makes you stop and take notice?

It is not that Dawn of Polaris is poor or anything, rather the opposite. I can let it spin and find it relatively enjoyable to listen to it, but at the same time it is hard to really listen when I know that my music library contains so much better stuff than this one – memorable albums that I think of when playing Dawn of Polaris, or other bands like them – I never think of Dawn of Polaris, not even when I play the album. It is good, and solid, but fails to make a lasting impression.