Sep 012011

(After a one-day hiatus, TheMadIsraeli returns with the next installment in this Melodeath Week series, and today’s focus is on a Finnish favorite here at NCS — Before the Dawn.)

Before The Dawn might be a hard sell to some of you as a candidate for melodeath week. I was surprised when Islander reviewed Soundscape Of Silence (here) that people didn’t react in the way I’ve experienced when talking about this band. What’s that? Argue that Before The Dawn has been pioneering some obtuse form of metalcore. I suppose I can kinda understand the logic. They have the metalcore energy, and something of the poppy sensibilities that metalcore can have. However, if you ask me, this is an unfair characterization. Before The Dawn use these elements to create a very somber, very melancholic atmosphere.

If you’re at all familiar with the sound of this band, then you’re familiar with everything they do.  The sound is very consistent. Trying to pick any one album as the band’s best is kind of pointless. For example, the album I’m focusing on here (2007’s Deadlight) and the one that preceded it (The Ghost, from 2006) are almost interchangeable, with VERY similar melodies. Even with the strong similarities, though, Deadlight, out of all this band’s albums, is the one that sticks with me the most. (more after the jump . . .)

On Deadlight, Before The Dawn uses an effective formula of simple melodic riffage, with leads generally being used to produce the hooks, a powerful mid-paced attack, and a vocal combo consisting of vocalist/guitarist Tuomas Saukkonen and vocalist/bassist Lars Eikind, who provide harsh death roars and dramatic, almost gothic cleans, respectively. This album has a very grand feel to it, like you’re inside of a hollow, decrepit monastery, exploring it and reading over engravings, maybe even the words carved over sepulchers of the dead.

The feel I get from this album reminds me of the way I felt listening to In Mourning’s debut, or any Daylight Dies album. As Islander said in his Soundscape review, the best vocal moments are when Tuomas and Lars do their thing at once. The effect it creates is beyond description. The chorus in “Wrath” is such a good example.

Not much more to say about these guys, but not much more is needed except to let the music speak for itself.


  1. Im gonna say this only after reading the title: JACKPOT! BtD is incredible, been a fan for years and Tuomas Saukkonen is something of a Finland’s very own Devin Townsend with more of a gothic element. Onto the text->

    • Metalcore, seriously? Never heard of that comparison before. Anyways, as much as I love BTD I have to say I’m, at the same time, abit scared and eager of their future. With the new line-up they’ve stated that their sound will be more into traditional melodic death and the gothic influences will be left out. ALSO, I have to say that im damn disappointed that, unlike it was informed at first, BTD will not join Insomnium on their tour within Finland. But then again that would’ve been too good to be true 🙁

      • I was in the process of ordering tickets for that tour. Then I thought it wise to check my agenda and found out I’ll be in London for work when they hit Rotterdam. Shit Fuck Fuckin’ Damnit!

  2. I absolutely love these guys and I agree that this is their most sticking album. Their latest isn’t all too bad either though. The vocal combo is among the best I’ve ever heard.

  3. Niek, you were the one who turned me onto this band through your posts at Death Metal Baboon. I still have vivid memories of listening to Soundscape for the first time on a multi-hour car trip and making it through the album 3 times before I got home. Is it true that Lars Eikind is no longer with the band?

    • Yes Eikind and the drummer are no longer part of the band. They played their last gig in Tuska- festival with the old setup. There’s a post about it on their web site.

  4. These guys have a certain Insomnium-ness to them, which is why I liked them initially. They’re truly a standout band in the melodeath scene. \m/

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