"Dawn of Ages"
By Colonel Angus
It is an exciting time for metal. Everyone will always talk about the early 80s and the profound impact of the NWOBHM and rightly so. But the ability to make music on your own without a big record company telling you to “have more hits” has really opened the door for artists to put out a pure vision of their art. "Dawn of Ages" is an album that may or may not have been given the green light by a record company executive back in the day but I thank God that the industry is such that Victor Arduini and Brian Balich could put out a great disk of tunes without having to compromise their art. There is a purity about "Dawn of Ages" that makes you really believe in every riff played and every lyric sung.
The album starts with track “The Fallen” which clocks in at slightly over 10 minutes and right off the bat, they lay the groundwork for the rest of the disk. The song is a cool mix of prog and doom and a lot of melody, which in my mind is missing from many of other artists who play similar styles. “Forever Fade” is a shorter tune but no less brutal. Balich really shines throughout with special mention to his performance on “Into Exile” where his voice perfectly complements the Anduini’s riffing. And speaking of Arduini, his performance is faultless and he brings just enough prog metal into the picture without overtaking the dark riffing. There are a few unique cover tunes tacked on the end of this disk with “After All (The Dead)” off of Black Sabbath’s "Dehumanizer" record as my favorite of the bunch. Not only did they choose a Sabbath tune that is not very well known but they covered it perfectly. It also fit well with the rest of the original material on the record, so much so that if I didn’t know it was a cover, I would say that it was an Arduini/Balich original. They also cover “Sunrise” by Uriah Heap and again, they cover a track that is not one of the usual Heep tunes. David Byron, like Ronnie James Dio, is a tough singer to follow but Balich does a great job on both. All in all, "Dawn of Ages" is great record that hopefully will find its way into many of your collections. My only concern at this point is, I hope this won’t be a one-off from these guys.
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