Before the Dawn

Dawn of Solace – Waves Review

Dawn of Solace – Waves Review

“As a big fan of Tuomas Saukkonen’s Before the Dawn and Black Sun Aeon projects (R.I.P. to both), I was the natural demographic for his melancholy melodeath vehicle, Dawn of Solace as well. 2006s The Darkness was a beautiful and haunting dose of Finnish gloom that made an impression, and I always wondered why he never released another album under that name. Now in 2020 he finally delivers the followup outing titled Waves.” Surfing blues.

Dying Embers – Where Shadeless Dwell Frozen Review

Dying Embers – Where Shadeless Dwell Frozen Review

“In the mid-00’s, I was just starting to dip my toes into the realms of metal. Maybe it was just the entry point I had with Children of Bodom, but there were a slew of bands that were called melodic death metal, but like a Scooby Doo villain, turned out to be power metal with some harsh vocals, some of them adding some cues from Gothic metal to seem a little darker. Bands like Eternal Tears of Sorrow or Before the Dawn went over well with pubescent me, with their straightforward, Maidenesque guitar harmonies and gloomy veneer. Dying Embers fall in this category as well, being tagged melodic death metal, and instead molding bits of Gothic and growls onto a mid-paced power metal album with the unwieldy title Where Shadeless Dwell Frozen. Time to feel like a teenager again.” Drama Club metal.

Ethereal Darkness – Smoke and Shadows Review

Ethereal Darkness – Smoke and Shadows Review

Ethereal Darkness arrives here today not because some fast talking, over promising PR firm submitted the promo while breathlessly proclaiming it the next big thing. It’s here because the mysterious and unnamed man behind this solo project submitted it to us via our contact form and the music did all the talking from there. Operating out of the shadows of Belgium, Smoke and Shadows is the act’s debut, featuring a kind of melodic death mixed with black metal and sadboy overtones.” Smoking darkness.

Fractal Gates – The Light That Shines Review

Fractal Gates – The Light That Shines Review

Fractal Gates have been on my radar since a certain simian scribe o’ Steel introduced me to Enshine, one of several solid acts featuring Fractal Gates‘ Sébastien Pierre. While Enshine sees Sébastien’s screams set to some sweetly soaring and seriously expressive string work, the dudes we’re discussing deal in dirtier, deathier depths of metal. Space-death, as it were, or something to that effect.” Good gates make good neighbors.

Stass – The Darkside Review

Stass – The Darkside Review

“Eating, or looking for things to eat. Boning down, or looking for people to bone down with. Shitting, or looking for music to shit on. The angry metal life devotes countless hours to these simple activities. How Rogga Johansson makes time for even one of these is a mystery. Metal Archives lists The Darkside, the debut of Stass, his project of the month with Crematory‘s Felix Stass, as his 11th release of 2017.” No rest for the Rogga.

X.Kernel – Face the Truth Review

X.Kernel – Face the Truth Review

“How do you feel about keyboards? Do you like ’em gloomy and atmospheric? Synthy and cheesy? Perhaps the classic piano flavor does it for you. Whatever your tastes, X.Kernel have got you covered. Their debut Face the Truth follows eight long years of melodic rumination and, if the album art can be believed, enough Phoenix Wright to cause nightmares.” Keys to the kingdom.

Wolfheart – Tyhjyys Review

Wolfheart – Tyhjyys Review

“Whenever Tuomas Saukkonen releases something there’s a certain amount of buzz in the filthy underbelly of metal. When he had Before the Dawn and Black Sun Aeon running simultaneously, he released a staggering amount of high-quality melo-death steeped in Finland’s biggest export – melancholy. After folding both well-regarded acts and creating Wolfheart, things seemed to take a few steps backward quality-wise.” Have you found the secret that I have lost?

Wolfheart – Shadow World Review

Wolfheart – Shadow World Review

“By now we all know Tuomas Saukkonen is a force of nature. He’s Finland’s metal juggernaut as surely as Rogga Johansson is Sweden’s, and over the decades he’s created some brilliant music with Before the Dawn, Black Sun Aeon and Dawn of Solace. Several years ago and for reasons unknown, he folded all his bands and started fresh with Wolfheart.” The leader of the Finnish pack is back with more sadboy melo-death.

Wolfheart – Winterborn Review

Wolfheart – Winterborn Review

“Tuomas Saukkonen is no stranger to the pages of AMG. We’ve spoken very highly of his Before the Dawn and Black Sun Aeon projects and generally came across as nuthugging fanboys of the man’s work. Needless to say, we were as shocked as everyone else when he unexpectedly laid both bands to rest (along with several others) and announced his intention to focus solely on a new act called Wolfheart, which at least initially would consist of just him.” Since we lose two great bands in order to get Wolfheart, is it a fair trade off or did we get screwed? Steel Druhm examines the details and overall fairness.

Cerekloth – In the Midst of Life We are in Death Review

Cerekloth – In the Midst of Life We are in Death Review

“Edvard Munch’s series of paintings, The Scream, has long held a fascination for me, from Munch’s depiction of the blood red sky to the raw emotion and suffering in the screamers eyes, as images they’re almost stifling to look at. Cerekloth have taken The Scream a step further. They’ve intensified the colors, honed in on the screamer, they’ve given you a passage into where this torture is coming from and they’ve added a bone chilling soundtrack – life meets art? Bursting onto the scene back in 2008 after putting blackened death outfit Church Bizarre temporarily on ice, the release of the debut EP Pandemonium Prayers saw Cerekloth added to Hells Headbangers for the release of a demo and an additional EP Halo of Syringes. And now a full 5 years later, Denmark based Cerekloth return with the Reaper in toe driving it home that death is a part of life, putting death and darkness back into death metal with In the Midst of Life We are in Death. Color me embarrassed for letting this devastating collaboration of aggression and chilling sensations slip through the cracks and go unnoticed!” Madam X gets extra dark and scary as she examines the painful and tortured death metal of Cerekloth. You wouldn’t like her when she’s super scary!