Sunday, 27 January 2013

Dawn of Winter - The Skull Of The Sorcerer (Album Review)

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 02/11/2012
Label: Cyclone Empire
Track Listing
1) Dagon's Blood 3:48
2) The Skull of the Sorcerer 7:22
3) By The Blessing Of Death 4:29
4) In Servitute To Destiny 5:35
The history of DAWN OF WINTER started back in the summer of 1990 when doomheads Gerrit Philipp Mutz and Oliver Schramm started a pure doom band called CEMETERY.

Doom was certainly not the flavour of the month (nor the decade) but they didn´t give a shit.  They wanted to play the music they loved so much.

Their first rough demo recording "Perfect Solitude" was released in January 1991.
The band changed their name into DAWN OF WINTER shortly after this release due to many other bands around sharing the CEMETERY or similar sounding CEMETARY monicker.

DAWN OF WINTER`s first professional studio recorded demo "Path of the Worm" was released in late 1991.  The tape received great response in the underground media.

Then in Spring 1992 Joachim Schmalzried (bass) joined the band followed by Jörg M. Knittel (guitar) in early 1993. They entered the studio anew to record their 5 track "Celebrate The Agony" CD. After the recordings Oliver Schramm left the band ( still no idea why...) and was replaced by Dennis Schediwy.

With the new line-up they did their first live gigs with bands like MIRROR OF DECEPTION, NAEVUS, REVELATION, SOLITUDE AETURNUS, PSYCHOTIC WALTZ etc.
In December 1994 an LP called "Doomcult Performance" was recorded but not released officially until 2003, because the band was not too satisfied with the production.

5 songs of the recording were released as a promo tape in the Summer of 1995 (which became known as the "Black Revelations" Promo).
In early 1996 DAWN OF WINTER released the "In Servitude To Destiny" Demo which included the following songs: "Sad Ocean", "Funeral", "Where Low The Ravens Fly" and "Dawn Of Winter".

The first real longplay CD/PIC-LP "In The Valley Of Tears" was then released in April 1998 on IRON GLORY Records.  In 2001 the vinyl only MLP "Slow Is The Suffering" followed.
In the meantime the band participated in several tribute albums to some of their heroes and recorded cover versions of songs by ANGEL WITCH, DEMON and CIRITH UNGOL.

After some selected live appearances (e.g. DOOM SHALL RISE in 2003 and 2006) the band decided to record another album in 2008.  This effort was released by Massacre Records under the title "The Peaceful Dead".  More live shows (e.g. Hammer of Doom 2009 or Up The Hammers/Greece 2011) followed.

In 2012 now their latest recording, a limited vinyl only output again called "The Skull Of The Sorcerer", is released to celebrate their 22nd year of slow existence.

Dawn of Winter is:
Gerrit P. Mutz - Vocals
Jörg M. Knittel - Guitar
Joachim Schmalzried - Bass
Dennis Schediwy - Drums


Dawn of Winter take no time to blast you with riffs, They chug straight in with ‘Dragon’s Blood’ and Gerrit P. Mutz’s vocals immediately grab the listener exhibiting a riveting theatricality in the vein of Candlemass and suchlike. This is classic traditional doom metal and I love it!
All the songs on this 4 track EP are well paced and well written with the great vocals making me wonder why this band, especially as they’ve been around so long, are not as huge as they should be. ‘The Skull of the Sorcerer’  a 7 1/2 mins glory box full of great guitar solo’s and crunchy metal riffs and not to mention a really fantastic chorus, which is just awesome.
So after 20 years in the game shitloads of demos and EP’s and only 2 full albums, I simply cannot wait for their next release of timeless doom. The band are from Baden-Wurttemberg Germany and also signed to german doom label Cyclone Empire so a proper full length should be with us soon.
The only gripe I have  with this record is at the end of the third song ‘By the Blessing of Death’ or rather how it ends, as it seems to me that it was originally a longer version and somehow edited into a complete stop after four and a half minutes. That said it has a good intro, with immediate nod inducing ingredients and plenty of  froth 
The last song is the title track from their 1996 demo ‘In Servitude to Destiny’ and is a more slower atmospheric song with a cool acoustic guitar intro for the first minute until the whole band come in and it turns into quite an epic piece of fate. I reckon this is their take on Candlemass’ Solitude? Dawn of Winter have achieved a really high standard in production and song writing, with their influences on their sleeve’s,  they have created  an EP which should be on every doom lovers list.
Written by: John Slaymaker
Another stunning record and as ever show your support to the band. Thanks to Hage at Cyclone Empire. Check the links for more info on the band. Record is available to buy via the label

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