“The Unlawful Assembly”

By Dr. Abner Mality

You might want to have a crying towel handy when you listen to this UK black metal mob. They play some of the saddest sounding BM since Burzum and early Darkthrone. Not that they particularly sound close to either of those bands, but this album just reeks of sorrow and regret.

This is also a pretty raw beast. The guitar sound is dank and murky, but not to the point where it hampers enjoyment. The fast black metal parts are very fierce, but they are tempered with weepy folk melodies that include a fiddle. There is also a very Celtic feel to Dawn Ray’d’s music, so much so that I can compare them to a less epic version of Primordial. Even song titles like “A Litany to Cowards” and “The Ceaseless Arbitrary Choice” remind me of that Celtic black metal band.  The album starts with flame-throwers like “Fire Sermon” and “The Abyssal Plain”, but as it meanders along, the folk elements become more pronounced until the record ends with the sparse acoustic gloom of “A Thought Ablaze”, which, frankly, I found pretty dull.

On the whole, this is a worthy black metal effort that shows a lot of promise for the future. I think better things are in store for Dawn Ray’d.