Power of Metal.dk Review

A New Dawn
Style: Progressive Rock
Release date: 1 February, 2013
Playing time: 78:04

Welcome to the Blacklands of your mind. When a band uses this motto, you have to know that their music will present an interesting ride. Blacklands’ debut album is entitled “A New Dawn”, and for good reason. The album mainly consists of heartbroken/lovesick musings, but all of the songs come together to form an atmosphere of loss and hope. Pain and healing. Broken hearts and confidence.

“A New Dawn” is quite a long album, clocking in at over an hour. The band’s ambition shows in more than just the length of the album. This band displays musical chops that can really put some metal bands to shame, all the while they keep melody at the forefront, however. I respect this strategy.

The musicians are all amazing, but I think a spotlight needs to be placed on the drums and the keyboards. The drummer reminds me of the excellent drumming in the band Introitus (one of my favorites). Like that band, Blacklands tends to a neo-prog kind of atmosphere, but the drums remain technical and powerful when needed. The keyboardist is also brilliant, as his ethnic and epic keys sweep through the music with majesty and amazing rhythm. That being said, the lead guitars are also quite fantastic as they create Floydian atmospheres and virtuoso moments. Lastly, the vox are of note.  The female vocalist could also be connected to Introitus, as she is rather powerful and melodic. She does have her low points; but, oh boy, does she have her high moments as well. Her heartfelt delivery shows maturity beyond this band’s years. There are also a couple songs that feature male vocals, and they are all well done---though not the spotlight.

Overall, this album has many twists and turns that keep the length interesting. Various melodies make appearances more than once, and they just contribute to the satisfying feeling of completeness and continuity that this album evokes. I'd say that my favorite track right now is "Memories": It is just a ballad, really. Yet, the emotion and lyrics really pull me in close. I think that gives a general idea of the type of impact this album has.

This is a debut album: yes. Yet, every song and every melody are done very well. It has its rough points, but I have to emphasize that these are few and forgivable. I do hope to see a slightly more interesting topic, especially with a name like Blacklands. I really want to explore the band concept they have created, but I feel they didn’t entirely deliver on this front. Take that aside, however, and you have a great, melancholy debut album that should catch some ears in the prog crowd.

01. Cold Embrace
Dance of the Witches
A New Dawn
Ocean of Tears
Remember Your Time
I Can Hear Your Heart
Floating Pictures
Love Will Never Die
12. The Meaning
Label: Independent
Distribution: www.blacklands.de
Artwork rating: 92/100
Reviewed by: Jason Spencer
Date: 28 March, 2013
Website: www.blacklands.de