Saturday, 25 March 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Arduini / Balich - "Dawn of Ages"

By: Richard King 

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 24/02/2017
Label: Cruz Del Sur Music





“Dawn Of Ages” is a classic fusion of perfect doom and progressive metal. The music makes an immediate and impressive connection in your mind which boldly declares that metal mastery is at hand and that two genres are blending seamlessly together.

 “Dawn Of Ages” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. The Fallen
2. Forever Fade
3. Into Exile
4. The Wraith
5. Beyond the Barricade
6. The Gates of Acheron
7. Sunrise (Uriah Heep cover)
8. Wolf of Velvet Fortune (Beau Brummels cover)
9. After All (The Dead) (Black Sabbath cover)


The Review:

This album is the culmination of the efforts of FATES WARNING’S co-founder Victor Arduini and heavy doom legends ARGUS’ Butch Balich. In late 2013 Arduini decided to push his musical boundaries in another direction and later recruited fellow FREEDOMS REIGN musician Chris Judge to drum for what would become Arduini / Balich. Arduini was in need of a vocalist when he’d met Butch Balich, who had played shows with him.

The resulting effort in “Dawn Of Ages” is a classic fusion of perfect doom and progressive metal. The music makes an immediate and impressive connection in your mind which boldly declares that metal mastery is at hand and that two genres are blending seamlessly together. These ideas are apparent from the album’s opening minutes.

Until the record’s sixth track the album unfolds throughout songs which top the ten minute mark yet never bore or meander in the slightest. It’s clear that Arduini and company have a great deal to say musically and this venting is a thing that can be not only easily understood but greatly appreciated.  Balich’s powerful singing blends easily with Arduini’s epic guitar work in innovative ways, creating a melodically compelling and adventurous sonic picture. The unity of both genres in this work exist beyond the idea of being portioned out here and there, with only some parts sounding doomed while certain other parts launch into progressive territories. The entirety of the record is a timeless fusion of both aspects.

There is something very special in particular about “Beyond The Barricade,” the album’s fifth track. It’s the longest of a fantastic lot at seventeen plus minutes, but the way it blasts through musical motions is remarkable for its variety. Without lapsing obviously into genre blending, the track manages to convey both power metal progressions and art rock riffs in one long, doomed spectacle.

In the vinyl version of this album, which is well worth getting, you’ll be able to catch three awesome cover songs, being “After All (The Dead)”, Beau Brummel’s “Wolf Of Fortune” and Uriah Heep’s “Sunrise” which is powerful enough to be held to the original.  I think it’s in “Sunrise” that ARDUINI/BALICH begin to reach an event-making creative apex. Balich’s vocals are perfect for this cover and the organ work in this is stunning. With “Wolf Of Fortune” and in their Black Sabbath cover, they bring the purest manifestation of power doom I can imagine. In fact, the entirety of the covers portion of this record is a great indication of just where this band may go; a person could really hope to hear more in these particular classic veins from them. Regardless, the templates established by these metal veterans in their first six songs on this debut are well more than enough to build on and leave a listener very satisfied by its conclusion.

"Dawn Of Ages" is available here




Band info: bandcamp || facebook

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