|Heavy Metal, Power Metal
Cruz Del Sur Records
November 8th, 2011
Release length: 54:44
The band actually has a lot working for them. Between their obvious appreciation for early NWOBHM with a bit of a more Power Metal push to it, and having an audio quality that captures that spirit and sound of the style’s glory days. Dawn of Infinity feels more on the analog side, capturing the early to mid eighties sound nicely you’d expect to hear from legends of the time such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, and it works very well with their influence from the first of those two bands in their material. The guitars here have that vintage distortion sound that is a bit of a higher pitch but comes off glorious and when used properly can set an epic atmosphere to the song from any band that knows how to use it well. The bass is loud in the mix as well, and used as an additional layer that really carries the beat well on it’s own without forcing it to simply accompany the guitars with a deeper sound, especially since it ends up being a little lighter then deep. The drums here sound fantastic with echoing loud and natural snares coming through with a nice level on the cymbols so they come through more as an accompanying part of the kit then dominating so that the snares and the kicks that have a slight kick to them that work perfectly against the louder guitars to still give the thudding bass presence if the click itself comes off drowned out. It’s the perfect mixture musically, and is nicely backed up with clean singing that feels slightly restricted, but perfectly suits the music with it’s slightly nasal approach mixing the aforemention Iron Maiden with perhaps a toned down Candlemass that can hit some higher falsetto notes. This band has every right to claim themselves to be vintage, classic, or even true (in the eyes of elitists) Heavy Metal, and it sounds amazing.
The second you press play on Dawn of Infinity and “Hourglass” kicks in with it’s early NWOBHM style riffs with a Power Metal melody, you’re immediately taken back to the vintage days of vinyl with it’s epic Heavy Metal sound that is undeniably catchy and moving for any fan of the style’s earliest days. The song never lets up with it’s solid hooks and rhythms that come through with a grand scale of attitude, meshing nicely with the beautiful, more melodic chorus and deeper vocal performance that compliments it perfectly to the point where you instinctively want to throw your fists in the air and immediately start singing along with the simple lyrics of the chorus or it’s harmonized semi-gang chants. “Light Years On” definitely doesn’t feel as grand or epic, but takes a faster approach with a strong Power Metal foundation, but the mixture of that and the throwback Heavy Metal riffs and attitude that still linger are enough to keep the buzz going for quite some time, whipping you into a frenzy with the galloping bass kicks and smooth transitions between paces of the song with a grand sounding chorus that is equally as powerful to the rest of the song.
It’s almost impossible from this point to even consider falling out of the classic Heavy Metal rush you’ll find yourself in. Well, at least right away that is. Dawn of Infinity has a long list of superb tracks throughout the entire album and it tends to get a little hard to pick out which ones are greater then others. There’s nothing really negative to say about the material here either, though some problems can be spotted. “Seize the Day” is a decent song, but takes too long to build up and stays restrained for too long, making it a little more bland then it really ends up being. On later listens it becomes obvious what the band’s intention was as far as that slow building approach is, but you still can’t help but feel the music leading up to that richer conclusion isn’t strong enough to support it the way that it is. And, from here, the material kind of follows a more traditional Heavy Metal approach that tries to weave an epic experience, but often without building up to anything. “The Tor” ends up being in here, especially given it’s eight minute track length. The band’s goal with this track is clear, but it never seems to reach that grandiose pinnacle that they seem to strive for, but instead just really comes up with an alright Heavy Metal song that’s nothing too special in the long run, but still a good effort none the less.
Really, Dark Forest seems to be at their best when the music is a little more energetic, which is proven well with the songs that follow “The Tor.” These tracks actually take on a bit of a common Hard Rock influence that would be typical to mainstream stations at the time, such as “The Stars My Destination” which still has that epic Heavy Metal push to it, but at the same time seems to take on a slight Glam or Hair Rock influence to it that makes it a little more accessible and, for the time outlined earlier, would be a little more mainstream. But this doesn’t paint the band in a bad light at all as the song is still enjoyable on a more melodic aspect, but still is not make as strong an impact as “Hourglass” and the other openning tracks do sadly. “Black Delta” does a good job of going back up to that epic scale, and still makes for a fantastic track that’s more Power Metal heavy, though doesn’t quite make the same impact.
Dawn of Infinity is honestly a strong album despite some of the songs that make less of an impact. The talent to capture the spirit and energy of the classic Metal sound is there, and cannot be denied. The only fault really was they tried their hand at too many different approaches to this style, which led up to the album’s slight downfall. The first three tracks here are fantastic and any fan of Heavy Metal or Power Metal is going to simply love them and come back to them repeatedly. However, the remainder is hit and miss due to some blander tracks, as well as good tracks that just don’t quite live up to the start of the release but well worth checking out either way. Dark Forest is definitely a group to keep your eye on, and if this album is any indication towards what their progression is going to be like for future recordings, Cruz Del Sur may find it wise to keep them on tab before a bigger label swoops in and grabs them.
01. Hourglass – 5:44
02. Light Years On – 4:27
03. Green Knight – 5:22
04. Seize the Day – 4:41
05. The Tor – 8:01
06. Through the Glass Darkly – 5:34
07. The Stars My Destination – 5:35
08. Under the Greenwood Tree – 4:31
09. Black Delta – 5:13
10. Deadly Premonition – 5:36
|Overall Score: 8.5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Cruz del Sur Records.