Vittorio Sabelli and his changing coterie of comrades in Dawn of A Dark Age are fully capable of donning their blackened armor, brandishing their swords and scythes, and going on the attack — and it’s thrilling when they do. But many heavy metal bands can do that. Very few are capable of surrounding those electrifying charges, as this band does, with such a rich and distinctive sonic pageant of other experiences, and none that we know of make the clarinet such a vital part of the pageantry.
I was late to the theater of Dawn of A Dark Age, having been oblivious until the 2020 album La Tavola Osca, which I reviewed and premiered here last July. But that record was one of those extraordinary musical adventures that makes one a fan for life. It arrived after Sabelli’s completion of a multi-album opus called The Six Elements, and it began a new thematic cycle. Now we have the second installment in the cycle.
This new album, which will be released by Antiq Records on September 24th, is named Le Forche Caudine, and it’s another remarkable achievement. It consists of two “Acts”, two very long compositions that succeed in transporting the listener to a very different age, in a very different world than we know now. Today we present an excerpt from Act I that’s absolutely exhilarating.