By Dr. Abner Mality

Dawnbringer is something of a chameleon that changes its approach with each new release. Their previous offering was known for its blistering speed. Anybody expecting that this time around is going to be in for a big disappoint. Not much in the way of velocity here.

I’m not sure how to categorize this EP. It’s not doom metal and thank God it’s not more stoner rock, but it is very melancholy  and downbeat. How about “solemn metal”? I like that, because this is very solemn yet melodic music. “Why Would You Leave Me?” surprises right out of the box with extremely laid back and very clean guitars. The multi-track vocals sound like something from a much earlier time. Metal crunch finally kicks in but this track doesn’t last very long.

Most of the tunes start in restrained and minor key fashion before kicking into a steady metal lope reminiscent of the NWOBHM. There’s a kind of post metal feel to all of this as well. “North By North” features Gregorian or pagan like chants, “Earth” is more clean and solemn sounding metal with crystal clear guitar solos. Last track “End of the Beginning” is an instrumental where the pace picks up quite a bit but still not to what one would call speed metal levels.

This is a curious little beast that burrows its way into your mind. It doesn’t sound spectacular on casual listen, but there’s hidden depths here.