Label: Prosthetic Records
Regular readers will probably know of my love for Dawn Ray’d and their album The Unlawful Assembly, but for those unaware, I’m of the firm opinion that the UK trio are one of, if not the, most important and vital things happening in black metal right now. Their anti-fascist stance and lyrical themes are to be admired, and are handled with intelligence and understanding that gives the music extra vibrancy. But not only that, but they are one of those rare bands who feel like they are walking a path entirely their own, with a sound that feels unique.
Of course, inspirations and points of comparison can be found and made – including black metal-era Ulver, traditional folk music, and blackened screamo – but they coalesce into a unique form, that makes the band stand apart. There is an emotional energy and intelligence to The Unlawful Assembly, and Dawn Ray’d as a whole, that is often lacking in black metal, with songs such as ‘Strike Again the Hammer Sings’ and ‘The Abyssal Plain’ as cathartic as they are political. Add in some neo-folk songs that smartly break the album up, and you have a record that still feels like a modern, and future, classic of the genre.