Sometimes you hear an album for the first time and just know instantly that the music contained within is going to stay with you for the rest of your life. Dawnbearer is one of those albums. Short punchy songs, laden with a sincere spirituality and all the sinister charms of the occult, dance in the air around me, psychedelic expression played on an ensemble of acoustic instruments and sang in one of the most honest and chilling voices I've ever heard. The production rejoices every detail of those finely plucked strings. As well as the rich and vibrant harmonics resonating perfectly, every creak, squeak and shuffle is also captured in the ambient detail of the recordings.
The mood this album creates is both evocative and meditative - you can forget about time and imagine you've been lost in the woods for days. You can even feel a sense of impairment to your reality as if on certain mood altering substances. Or perhaps that's just the influence of how impaired these shaman's collective reality must've been when they wrote this stuff? Although I have my doubts that experimentation with drugs played a huge part in this creation. Even though the creativity here seems transcendental, like a sober mind wouldn't be capable of conjuring the images these songs create, some degree of control must've been implemented for the songs to be so perfectly structured and crafted. There's a profound understanding of genuinely excellent song writing going on. Unless this is the rare case that someone completely retains all their talent while extremely high after crawling into a badger den with a ukulele and vowing not to leave until the album is written.
The psychedelia comes from the lyrcial subject matter and the `world music' timbre, but sometimes the music leans from folk to more contemporary genres like indie and rock, all the while retaining a deep sense of connectivity to nature, folklore, heritage and the beyond. I had thought this music was going to be quite ambient, abstract and full of subtle build-ups, but it has more in common with fellow Fins `Tenhi' than anything else in the almost filmic orchestrations and rich arresting progressions.
And another reason I feel deeply for this album is that the bands main composer, Mat McNerney (known to many as Kvohst) is an Englishmen. He used to do vocals in black metal intercontinental super group Code. Surely it's every musicians dream to one day up-sticks and move to Finland, form an allegiance with various folk and experimental prog musicians along the way and in a perfect blend of sounds and themes, create a project that's strong enough to form a living off.
See how this album appeals to you and listen to the monolithic duet with Czral `The Tunnel at the End of Light' or the quirky `Diamonds'. I would happily recommend these songs to my grandma aswell as the swamp-dwelling, creature of the night grim types, it really is that diverse.Read more ›