“elaborate gargantuan melodies”
…in the Dawn is incredible, even if not black metal. Intelligent melodies with varied and powerful instrumentation combine together to form a soundscape thats elaborately atmospheric. The use of stringed instruments like the violin and cello are layered over and over again to build a triumphant atmosphere that proceeds throughout the album. Songs like “The Essence” portray that atmosphere very well, with building stringed instruments and a triumphant gleam to the soft piano riff pressed to the back of the mix on the album until further into the track.
With this emphasis on atmosphere I think …in the Dawn portrays a half melancholic, half kinda-foreboding feeling throughout it; which I think is partially detrimental as the chord structure is way too happy for black metal; especially when implying a foreboding feeling that never capitalizes, or does but singularly within tracks. When it comes to the harsher parts of the album I find myself wishing there was more dissonance. I think one of the most beautiful things about black metal; and even post black metal, is the melancholy or downright darkness and depression that the work can portray. Take Agallochs “Limbs” for example; the song begins with a triumphant melody, but very quickly degenerates into a minor chord progression making way for the black metal vocal style. …in the Dawn in contrast to some post-black metal or blackgaze like; The Mantle or Écailles de Lune, lacks the dissonance that is so important to black metal as a genre.
I still appreciate the hell out of the attempt however, with grandiose melodies I think it is very important to remember that this album is post-black metal, one of the most attributeless genres ever thought up outside of the usual vocal style of black metal and (sometimes) the content of the lyricism.
Given its lack of darkness and depression I found this album to be a very interesting listen. It really has its moments with the varying style choices. A good example is: “Only Moments” which has these weird speedy double bass drum alongside slower piano passages; which is very experimental, and is a very interesting stylistic decision for a band doing atmospheric black metal.
Overall I applaud the complexity and compositional prowess. 80/100 for sure, but I hope in future releases this band exacerbates the dissonant black metal that I personally think would be a very powerful black metal release for the band; as the incorporation of massive, notably dissonant layering of instrumentation would reminisce of Burzum or Ellende if it persisted through the album; in conclusion: its good, I just wish it were more dissonant.