If someone were to ask me, “Why is Finnish metal so awesome?”, I would answer, “Because it’s metal from Finland, you dork!” — and then I’d give the Nerd Laugh, the one that’s part snort and all-knowing. And if I were being asked by a big hairy dude with no nerd sense of humor, I’d follow that quickly with some examples, one of which would be Before the Dawn.
The band was started in 1999 by the prolific Tuomas Saukkonen (also a member of Black Sun Aeon, Dawn of Solace, and RoutaSielu), and their 2011 album (their sixth), Deathstar Rising, was one of our favorites (I also named a song from the album to our list of 2011’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs — here). Their combination of hard-driving riffs and dark, beautiful, hook-filled melodies is a great example of the kind of gothic melodic death metal at which the Finns have excelled.
Part of the band’s appeal has been the one-two vocal punch delivered by Saukkonen (whose harsh delivery is killer) and bass player Lars Eikind. Elkind is gone, unfortunately, but of course that hasn’t stopped Saukkonen for a minute. Here’s a January 25 note posted by the band (which I only just saw, thanks to a tip from KevinP):
Finnish melancholic melodic death metal outfit BEFORE THE DAWN returns after living through a phase of changes and uncertainty – cleansed, renewed and stronger than ever! Leaving pieces of both the musical and personal past behind, mastermind Tuomas Saukkonen, lead guitarist Juho Räihä and their new companions get ready for conquering your ears with the finest blend of northern gloom and harsh melodic death metal.
Their seventh studio album and at the same time second release via Nuclear Blast Records is entitled “Rise Of The Phoenix” and will arise from the ashes on the 27th of April 2012!
Very welcome news indeed. After the jump, the track list . . . and news about the next Marduk album.
RISE OF THE PHOENIX – Track List
02. Pitch-Black Universe
03. Phoenix Rising
04. Cross To Bear
05. Throne Of Ice
06. Perfect Storm
07. Fallen World
And here’s a nice, new promo pick of the new line-up:
And now this, from Sweden’s Marduk.
This news isn’t long on volume, but it’s high in content value. Per Marduk’s Facebook page today:
“Marduk is currently in the studio finalizing the recording of their 12th studio album. The title has been set for “SERPENT SERMON”!
The album is set for a late spring release. Tracklisting and more info will be unveiled shortly.”
Rest assured, we’ll be following developments about this album and will bring you what we find faster than a three-toed sloth.
(Thank you Andy Synn for this tip.)
The one thing I’m curious about with Before The Dawn is how much it is going to sound like his other project’s now. I’ve never felt he was a fantastic frontman, just had a good enough scream to keep the song going. The highlight for me was the bassist’s vocals. I haven’t heard any of their new stuff yet, but the rise of the phoenix thing reminds me of both Mercenary’s Metamorphosis and Tenacious D’s new one. Maybe the new Before The Dawn stuff will be real scrappy sounding like Mercenary’s was…where you can tell they have something to prove.
My issue is that he makes so much music between this and Black Sun Aeon that I’m really hoping it just doesn’t become this homogenous bore.
As a sidenote: October Tide revealed their new lineup, the other Normann brother is involved now alongside a new vocalist. The two guys from In Mourning bailed, which saddens me. I really liked A Thin Shell and am looking forward to the new stuff.
I will really miss Eikind, too. Because this album is coming so soon after the last one and is coming from a guy who has so many fingers in so many pies, I suppose it’s rational to wonder how good it will be — and what it will sound like without Eikind’s vocal contribution. I haven’t heard any of their albums before he joined the ranks.
The first album teaser for BTD is online 🙂
Thank you! An NCS post about this will be up this morning.