Release Date: May 29, 2012
Record label: Profound Lore
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal
If Dawnbringer's recent career were to be analyzed simply based on the color palette used on their album covers, one might deduce that these staunch heavy metal purists were traversing their "sepia phase," whatever that means, as they released their fifth studio album, 2012's In the Lair of the Sun God. Alas, it's nowhere near that simple trying to explain how an album steeped in so many vintage metallic hallmarks as old as the hills can possibly sound so fresh and exciting, but here goes. This is a concept album comprised of nine Roman-numeral-designated song titles that together spin a fantastical yarn about an ancient warrior wracked with feelings of inadequacy (where's a wizard shrink when you need one?) who decides to secure his legend by murdering the sun itself.
Any fan who came of age during metal’s heyday in the ‘80s will fondly remember a simpler time, when bands wrote ambitious and adventurous tunes ridden with catchy barbs. In the contemporary metal world, Gordian knots of sub-genres, or über-extreme or wildly progressive ventures frequently obscure traditional pursuits. However, the work of bands like Dawnbringer highlight why traditional metal will never fade away.
For all intents and purposes, the anchor of the fifth proper album by retro-metal revivers Dawnbringer is the sort of classic power ballad that might serve your 1980s hair-band punch line well. "V", or the album's fifth track, twinkles open, its muted guitar riff offering the calm before the surge: "I am not alone now/ You're lying next to me," Chris Black starts over a sudden quake of drums and distortion, his voice dependent upon the same extent of entreaty that Jon Bon Jovi used at the prime of his popularity. The chorus opens like floodgates, with Black's arc hitting a fists-up, eyes-closed, mouths-open peak like never before.
When Dawnbringer released Nucleus in 2010, on Profound Lore, the metal community suddenly sat up and took notice, wondering where this band had been all their lives. With Into The Lair of the Sun God, the Chicago, IL metallers have once again produced a record that's as engaging as it is refreshing. Dawnbringer manage to capture a classic heavy metal sound without sounding retro, evoking the incomparable energy of a heavy metal anthem while making those traditional structures sound new again.