As it happens, Iím sitting in a hotel room in a Helsinki suburb as Iím writing these lines about the new effort from one of Finlandís many proud metal troupes, Before the Dawn. During the day at the office, Iíve been listening to one of the commercial radio stations, and trust me, itís not like any of the commercial stations we have back home: it is all Megadeth, Pantera, Manowar, Metallica, Nightwish and the like. Tells you something about the state of metal in the land of the thousand lakes, doesnít it?
So, a healthy environment for metal bands to grow up in, I think youíd have to agree. And it safeguards that a lot of quality metal is nurtured. ĎDeadlightí is good quality metal by all means, blending elements of death, progressive and heavy metal into something they like to call dark metal.
Vocals have been divided into a clean set (delivered by Lars Eikind) and more black metal-laden harshness performed by Before the Dawn mastermind Tuomas Saukkonen. The clean vocals are by far the most interesting and fit the music more than the latter-mentioned.
Songs like Wrath, Eternal, Deadsong and the enigmatically entitled Ö hold definite qualities and are the three strongest tracks here. Deadsong in particular stands out with its ballad-like intro, the melodic yet hard-as-steel verses and the fact that the vocals styles are mixed perfectly, not giving in to the overweight of the growl. Ö incorporates female vocals and thus adds another dimension that is needed after the two fairly eventless tracks Guardian and Reign of Fire.
Give it a go, you might enjoy it.