Album Review: Dawn Ray’d – To Know The Light (Prosthetic Records)

Antifascist anarchist British black metal band Dawn Ray’d return with their brand-new album, To Know the Light. Out on March 24th, 2023 via Prosthetic Records.

A new and fresh direction for Dawn Ray’d but one that is still rooted in their uncompromising black metal sound. To Know the Light finds the band at their most personal to date, throwing a fair bit of caution to the wind as they heavily infuse their black metal sound with intense folk-inspired elements. The end result is something that feels primeval, perverse and poignant.

Ten tracks that deliver a range of blistering blackness, melodious twists, folk-driven turns, and so much more. Kicking off with the dismal savagery of The Battle of Sudden Flame. The raw instrumentation and scowling vocals clashing discordantly with melody. Before things really come to life with the epic and enigmatic Ancient Light. This is where Dawn Ray’d really open up and expand to much delight. The blend of abrasive blackness with folk melodies and vocal chanting is expertly done here.

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An apt title, Inferno burns with startling intensity. The speed and ferocity on show here is akin to a tsunami of fire, but a latter point tempo shift keeps it sounding interesting. Which is certainly something that can be levied at Requital too. An unexpected, short piece of isolated and harmonised vocals.

It’s back to the blistering, harsh, and uncomplicated blackened heaviness with the sharp and pointed Sepulchre (Don’t Vote). Dawn Ray’d always willing to share their opinions and deliver them in their own brash style. Before we get another short offering in the form of Cruel Optimisms. Here though, it’s instrumental time (aside from a spoken word segment) and it’s a brilliant piece of folk-heavy melody. You’ll really feel the emotion in this piece of cinematic music. Just be prepared for a brief eruption right at the very end.

There’s a sense of increasing confidence as the album goes on and the latter part features some of the best folk/black metal combinations of the entire album. In the Shadow of the Past’s ominous heavy beats and mournful melodies, the melodrama and heart showcased by Freedom in Retrograde, and the epically-tinged explosivity of Wild Fire. An experimental example of blackened fury and folkish righteousness.

Before this unique and exciting entry in the Dawn Ray’d musical catalogue comes to an end with enviable grandeur. The finale of Go As Free Companions proving to be a sumptuous folk and black metal concoction.

Dawn Ray’d – To Know the Light Track Listing:

1. The Battle of Sudden Flame
2. Ancient Light
3. Inferno
4. Requital
5. Sepulchre (Don’t Vote)
6. Cruel Optimisms
7. In the Shadow of the Past
8. Freedom in Retrograde
9. Wild Fire
10. Go As Free Companions


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  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Dawn Ray'd - To Know The Light (Prosthetic Records)
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