Throes of Dawn – Quicksilver Clouds – 2004 – Avantgarde Music
1. Vertigo 2. Hollow Reflection 3. Transcendence 4. Black Carbon Snow 5. Quicksilver Clouds 6. Hyperion 7. The Destroying Angel 8. Halo of Flies
I’ve heard people toss around the phrase “Dark Metal” in the past, but I was not totally sure what they were talking about. Sure, a lot of bands can be referred to as “dark,” but the name of an entire genre? Come on, I thought getting that specific was a bit crazy. Until I listened to Throes of Dawn, that is. It’s not black metal, it’s not industrial, it’s not doom metal, and it’s not death metal… “Dark” is really the only all-encompassing term that fits this band.
Unfortunately this is not the greatest of all things. Throes of Dawn fit in this category for their uniqueness, not their brilliance. While “Quicksilver Clouds” is by no means a bad album, it’s not a great one either. It seems that upon finding their little niche they decided not to budge from it at any cost whatsoever. The first two tracks, “Vertigo” and “Hollow Reflection,” were pretty good. Henri Koivula has a voice very similar to that of Ram-Zet’s Flemming Rammseth. It’s almost, but not quite, a blackened rasp, and it maintains pretty steadily over the two songs. The guitar tones are all very low – the only thing that provides a bit of relapse from the band’s seemingly endless depression are the synthesizers, which create little melody and are mostly relegated to atmospheric background effects.
It seems Throes of Dawn were unable to follow up from the first two songs. Instead, seven more tracks follow that are more or less the same as the first two. There is little to no variation with any aspect of the music except maybe the vocals, which go clean every now and then. Consequently, this does nothing to help their cause as the clean vocals are very flat, lifeless, and boring. Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes repetition (whether it’s within a song or over the course of an album) is very good and enjoyable to listen to – that’s the approach a lot of the older black metal bands took. However, when you’re repeating something that isn’t all that great to begin with, then that just makes things worse. I’m not saying this album is terrible or a bust, but it’s really nothing all that special. If you’re really into bands like Ram-Zet or …And Oceans then this might be for you. I’m really can’t say how enjoyable this will be to your average heavy metal fan, though.
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