Album Review: Dawn Ray'd - To Know The Light
Reviewed by Richard Oliver
'To Know The Light' is the third album from Liverpool based black metal band Dawn Ray’d. Self-described anarchists and at the forefront of the anti-facsist black metal movement, Dawn Ray’d have won equal amounts of applause and hatred from rave reviews of their two previous albums to the band receiving death threats. The band remain undeterred from any negativity thrown their way and determined to send their message across in furious form.
If you’ve never heard Dawn Ray’d before they have a sound that is very much rooted in European black metal but there is very much a folk element prevalent as well as a deep sense of melancholy. What helps set them apart is the use of violin throughout with some gorgeous forlorn melodies and stunning atmospheric moments. This is still absolutely furious stuff though and 'To Know The Light' is probably the most furious album that the band has released so far, perfectly balancing rage and anger with profound melancholy.
The music throughout is quite varied from blistering black metal such as ‘The Battle Of Sudden Flame’ and 'Sepulchre (Don’t Vote' whilst songs such as ‘Requital’ are more punk in spirit performed entirely on vocals and celebrating the retaliatory actions of the downtrodden worker and ‘Freedom In Retrograde’ is a gorgeous folk song with equality charged lyrics. The album closes with its strongest moment in ‘Go As Free Companions’ which combines the fury, atmosphere, melancholy and anarchist spirit into one glorious song which seems to encapsulate what Dawn Ray’d are all about.
'To Know The Ligh'” is another excellent album from Dawn Ray’d. Simon Barr seems to have definitely grown as a vocalist as there is a greater emphasis on clean vocals here than on previous albums and both his clean and harsh vocals sound fantastic and very well rounded. The performances from the rest of the band are fantastic as well with some excellent black metal riffs from Fabian Devlin as well as luscious acoustic parts and drummer Matthew Broadley puts in a suitably furious performance. Whether you agree or disagree with the message and politics that Dawn Ray’d put across in their lyrics there is no denying that the music here is absolutely stunning and 'To Know The Light' is a fantastic piece of black metal.