Darker

Darker

BY Dawn

(Customer Reviews)
$14.00
SKU: LE1069
Label:
Laser's Edge
Category:
Progressive Rock
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Darker is the long awaited second album from Swiss progressive rock band Dawn. It has been 6 years since the quartet rocked the prog world with their expert take on old school symphonic rock.

Dawn formed in Montreux, Switzerland in 1996.  Since then the band has performed at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival, as well as at Swiss prog rock festivals Progsol, and Montreux Prog Nights.  The band has also opened for Kansas and Fish.  After a series of line up changes the band began to focus on their sophomore release in 2010 and perform them in concert.

Dawn’s music is riddled with vintage keyboard sounds and flowing guitar solos.  Plaintive vocals ascribe a kinship to the British Canterbury prog family tree.  The album is conceived as a series of compositions dealing with Man in the 21st century: his fears, his conception of life, his reaction to technology, nuclear power, and the planet’s suffocation.  Darker was recorded in 2013 by Olivier Charmillot and mastered by noted audiophile engineer Bob Katz.

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    $29.00
  • MY BROTHER THE WIND is an improvisational cosmic rock collective consisting of members of widely known Swedish acts Makajodama, Magnolia, Animal Daydream and most notably Anekdoten, one of the more widely recognized names in the 1990s prog rock revival.Recorded live in the studio with no overdubs during a single day in January 2013, Once There Was A Time When Time And Space Were One captures the collective's progressive soundscape qualities with incredible analogue studio production. The band utilized 6 and 12 string acoustic and electric guitars, Mellotron, flute, bass, drums, congas and more to complete the task. Expect 45 minutes of the band's most succinct material to date, recorded deep in the snowy, forested, Swedish wilderness.In 2013, MBTW expanded into an even wider fanbase, having been invited to play the mighty Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, Holland, as well as at Duna Jam in Sardinia.  At the invitation of Opeth’s Mikael Okerfeldt, guitarist Nicklas Barker returned to Roadburn to perform an improv set with Dungen guitarist Reine Fiske.Those who frequent the works of Popol Vuh, Amon Duul, Sun Ra, Träd, Gräs Och Stenar, Albert Ayler, Ash Ra Tempel, Gong, Pink Floyd and other visionary, psychedelic rock artists are advised to investigate this act. "Lush and instrumental for its duration, My Brother the Wind‘s third full-length, Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One (released by Free Electric Sound/Laser’s Edge), rolls out of the speakers much easier than its title rolls off the tongue, though both title and the work itself satisfy rhythmically. The Swedish four-piece — they now seem to be a bass-less trio with Nicklas Barker (Anekdoten) and Mathias Danielsson (Makajodama) on electric/acoustic 12-strong guitar and Daniel Fridlund Brandt on drums, but Ronny Eriksson plays bass on the album — reportedly recorded live to two-inch tape on a vintage machine, and the passion they put in bleeds readily into the nine-song/45-minute outing, fleshed with liberal splashes of Mellotron courtesy of Barker to play up a ’70s prog feel in a piece like the 12-minute “Garden of Delights.” That’s hardly the only point at which those sensibilities emerge, but even more than that, the primary vibe here is one of gorgeous heavy psych exploration, the band adventuring and feeling their way through the material as they go.On peaceful moments like the title-track, which arrives as the penultimate movement before “Epilogue” leads the way back to reality — accordingly, “Prologue” brings us in at the start — that exploration is positively serene, the 12-string complemented by spacious electric tones spreading out across vast reaches, but Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One offers more than drone and psychedelic experiments. Subtly pushed forward by Brandt‘s drums, pieces like “Into the Cosmic Halo” and even “Epilogue” enact classic space rock thrust, and even “Song of Innocence Part 1,” the first part of the journey after the backward atmospherics of “Prologue” introduce, has some cosmic feel amid its echoing solos. Its subsequent complement, “Song of Innocence Part 2,” swells to life on an even more active roll, waves of amp noise up front while drums and bass groove out behind, waiting for the guitars to catch up, which they do in a suitably glorious payoff, relatively brief but masterfully engaging, setting a momentum that continues well into “Garden of Delights,” a focal point for more than its length.Because the songs flow so well one to the next, some directly bleeding, others giving a brief pause, and because later cuts like “Thomas Mera Gartz” — named in honor of the drummer for ’70s Swedish proggers Träd, Gräs och Stenar — and the title-track have a quieter take, it’s tempting to read some narrative into the shifts of Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One, but with the material not being premeditated, I’m not sure that’s the intention so much as a signal it’s well arranged. In any case, the album offers an immersive, resonant listen, with tonal richness to spare and the presence of mind to keep a sense of motion even in its stillest parts and a balance of organic elements — Danielsson‘s recorder and Brandt‘s percussion on “Misty Mountainside,” the 12-string, etc. — amid a wash of effects and swirling psychedelia. This attention to sonic detail makes Once There was a Time When Time and Space were One more than just a collection of jams, and adds further purpose to the already worthy cause of My Brother the Wind‘s thoughtful musings, wandering and not at all lost." - The Obelisk
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  • Awesome live album from the 1976 tour.  A stone cold killer.
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  • This is a bit of an improbable project that really comes together.  Balance Of Power leader Lionel Hicks is also a movie producer.  He produced a sci-fi film called The Hybrid.  Saxon contributed tunes for the soundtrack.  As a result of the relationship a new "supergroup" of sorts was put together called The Scintilla Project.  Fronting the band is Biff Byford (Saxon).  Guitars are handled by noted metal producer and Hell guitarist Andy Sneap.  They rhythm section is held down by Balance Of Power's Lionel Hicks and Anthony Ritchie.  The result is an excellent cyber/prog metal album with a strong melodic element.  Plenty of keyboards push the music a bit towards the Dream Theater side of the spectrum but its never gets overly technical.  Highly recommended. 
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  • This is what the ancient bearded one has to say:"Morgan Ågren is one of the great drummers of our time. Best known for his work with Mats/Morgan Band, he's also a fine composer and musical thinker.Since the mid 2000s, one of his interests have been to combine the intense jazz/rock stylings of the Mats/Morgan's earlier work with more contemporary technology, stylings and sounds (think 'beats' and 'electronica'); while those words might scare some folks reading this away, if you liked the sound of "Thanks For Flying With Us" and "[schack tati]", you've heard what I am talking about.He's been working on this album for the last number of years and it's very much a companion to "[schack tati]" stylistically, some of it completely solo (but not solo drums by any means) and some of it with Mats, as well as Devin Townsend, Fredrik Thordendal, Jimmy Ågren, Simon Steensland and others. Highly recommended! Released only in Japan, in a elegant, mini-lp sleeve!"
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  • Mega-rare US late 60's flower power psych/pop band with some subtle prog tendencies. Features lots of unreleased versions.
    $24.00
  • "Babysteps tells the story of Nick (Jody Ashworth, Trans Siberian Orchestra), a professional athlete, who finds himself in a wheelchair having to recover in a rehabilitation center. The struggle with his arrogant doctor (James LaBrie, Dream Theater) reaches its climax in a big fight. Matt (Matt Cash, Chain/Frameshift/Solo), another patient, tries to befriend Nick who doesn’t trust people anymore. Matt introduces his physician to Nick, Dr. Sizzla (Michael Sadler, SAGA), who gives him valuable advice on how to approach his situation and his doctor. Babysteps is the story of Nick’s journey on the way to recovery and the obstacles he has to overcome.Also lending their talents to this project are Ian Crichton (Guitar) and Jim Gilmour (Keys) from SAGA who both recorded phenomenal solos on this album.Babysteps features 10 songs and 5 instrumental pieces for a total of 15 Tracks. The instrumentals all revolve around the same theme because they signify the return to the hospital cafeteria, a central place in the story.The music of Babysteps can best be described as in the vein of TSO (Trans-Siberian Orchestra) or Savatage because of the orchestral elements and the extensive use of piano and metal guitars. Henning’s usual production methods are not as dominant on this release and the synthesizers and chopped guitars take a step back to make way for a more organic sound."
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  • Sixth album from Italy's best export since the invention of neapolitan style pizza. The band gets a bit of heat since they achieved break out success. Far from a sell out, Lacuna Coil is as heavy as ever. The band's focus remains on the co-vocalists Christina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro. Filled with chunky riffing and some slick production, not a hell of a lot has changed. Lacuna Coil's music has always been laced with hooks. You want to call it poppy? Go ahead but its what they have always done. Want to hear where Evanescence got their sound? Check out Lacuna Coil. They may not have been the first in the genre but they are certainly one of the standard bearers. Highly recommended.
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  • Remastered edition with 2 bonus tracks."Easily one of the most important heavy metal albums ever released, Stained Class marks the peak of Judas Priest's influence, setting the sonic template for the New Wave of British Heavy Metal more than any other single recording. This is the point where Priest put it all together, embracing their identity as the heaviest band on the planet and taking the genre to new heights of power, speed, musicality, and malevolence. Not until Painkiller would the band again be this single-minded in its focus on pure heavy metal. Their blues-rock roots have been virtually obliterated; largely gone, too, are the softer textures and gothic ballads of albums past. The lone exception is the morbid masterpiece "Beyond the Realms of Death," on which the band finally finds a way to integrate the depressive balladry of songs like "Epitaph" and "Last Rose of Summer" into their metal side. Starting out with quiet, mournful verses, the song's chorus is ripped open by a blazing guitar riff as Rob Halford shrieks about leaving the world behind, a dramatic climax that sounds like a definite blueprint for Metallica's "Fade to Black." Yet it wasn't this song that inspired the ridiculous 1989-1990 court case involving the suicide pact of two Nevada teenagers; that honor goes to the Spooky Tooth cover "Better by You, Better Than Me" (penned by none other than the "Dream Weaver" himself, Gary Wright), on which the band allegedly embedded the subliminal backwards-recorded message "Do it." Astounding implausibility aside (as the band pointed out, why encourage the suicides of fans who spend money?), it isn't hard to see why Stained Class might invite such hysterical projections. On balance, it's the darkest lyrical work of the band's career, thematically obsessed with death, violence, and conquest. That's not to say it's always approving. Sure, there are battle cries like "White Heat, Red Hot," horrific nightmares like "Saints in Hell," and elements of the fantastic in the alien monsters of "Invader" and stone classic opener "Exciter." But the band stays philosophical just as often as not. The twisting, turning title track adopts the biblical view of man as a hopeless, fallen creature preyed upon by his baser instincts; "Savage" foreshadows Iron Maiden's "Run to the Hills" in depicting violent colonizers as the real savages; and closer "Heroes End" laments the many legends born from untimely deaths. So in the end, what really cements the celebrated morbidity of Stained Class is the sinister atmosphere created by the music itself. Never before had heavy metal sounded so viciously aggressive, and never before had that been combined with such impeccable chops. Seemingly at will, Tipton and Downing spit out brilliant riffs that cut with knife-like precision, usually several per song. This means that there's a lot to take in on Stained Class, but if there's nothing here as immediate as the band's later hits, there's also a tremendous amount that reveals itself only with repeated listens. While the album's overall complexity is unrivalled in the band's catalog, the songs still pack an enormous visceral impact; the tempos have often been jacked up to punk-level speed, and unlike albums past, there's no respite from the all-out adrenaline rush. Heavy metal had always dealt in extremes -- both sonically and emotionally -- but here was a fresh, vital new way to go about it. It's impossible to overstate the impact that Stained Class had on virtually all of the heavy metal that followed it, from the NWOBHM through thrash and speed metal onward, and it remains Judas Priest's greatest achievement." - All Music Guide
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  • "We haven't heard from Switzerland's Kirk in better than a decade. After a successful debut album in 2003 and some touring, the band took a hiatus after their original drummer took ill. The other members pursued new projects in the interim. But as of 2010 the band has reformed, began writing, and then recording with uber-producer Dennis Ward to create Masquerade.This is solid melodic heavy metal, possibly a touch on the power and progressive metal side. You'll get the former with the aptly titled Supersonic Speed, the latter with Devil's Claw or Masquerade, by example. But some might say that these songs or something like Time and Face in the Crowd are a mash up of both.Fundamentally, what's rather impressive is the depth of song composition and musicianship. Every song sounds really good, and different, with a truckload of catchy melodies and strong vocal harmonies. Thomi Rauch is easily becoming one of my favorite metal vocalists. But the rest are no slouches either, pulling together and pulling off some terrific sounds. When all these elements come together the result is rather dramatic and entertaining. Notable are The End of the Universe and Eternity where the smooth melody, catchy hook in chorus, soaring vocal arrangement, and crisp guitar leads of each song is quite inspiring, and simply a delight to listen to. Masquerade is a strong return to form for Kirk; frankly, I don't think there's a single dull song in the bunch. Here's hoping they stick around to give us more in the future. Quite recommended." - Dangerdog
    $16.00
  • It becomes a convenient crutch to describe every band emerging from Poland as sounding like Riverside.  In the case of Retrospective its actually true.  Lost In Perception comes 4 years after their debut Stolen Thoughts.  Granted this sophomore effort shows much more individuality.  Vocalist Jakub Rozsak doesn't sound anything like Mariusz Duda but the one thing they share in common is a great ability to sing with emotion.  You believe it.  There is a spacey vibe that does in fact sound like the earlier Riverside albums.  The good news is that while Retrospective isn't unique sounding, what they do they do extremely well.  This one is sneaking in at the end of 2012 as one of the better prog efforts we've heard in awhile. Highly recommended.
    $16.00
  • "A concept album following the life cycle of a human being, childhood to citizen adult, the lyrics (and music) are replete with references to all of the odd destructive and self-destructive patterns our 'civilized' race has attached itself to. Brainchild of Athenian Nikitas Kissonas, Methexis' music is never predictable and always unexpected. Begin with The Enid's Joe Payne's amazing and enigmatic voice. (Please excuse my previous error in that I mistakenly thought it was Nikitas singing.) It seems that Joe can sound like anyone he chooses. Then focus on Nikitas' eclectic and stunningly diverse guitar soundings and stylings. Then try to pinpoint his influences, the styles he is drawing from in order to make his eminently creative and original songs. It is nearly impossible. This is music that draws from so many diverse and unusual styles and ideas. This is music that tests the capabilities, the combinations and permutations, that are possible within the realms of human expression using sound and music.1. "Chapter IV - Ruins" (4:49) starts the album with 'the end'! The fourth and final suite in the album's song-cycle, entitled "ruins," is what Nikitas chooses to begin his album with. I love it! It is an atmospheric 'post-apocalyptic' song much in the vein of Mariuz Duda's LUNATIC SOUL or even Norway's ULVER.2. "Chapter 1 - Exterior - Remember, Fear's a Relic" (6:11) opens with the energetic force of a great blues-based jazz-rock song--complete with Hammond organ, sassy horn section, and bluesy GINO VANELLI-like vocal. A surprise as this was quite unexpected but I have to admit: it is quite refreshing and enjoyable. The falsetto chorus is also quite unusual, but then, everything Nikitas creates is quite unusual and unexpected. Quite fun. (9/10)3. "Chapter 1 - Exterior - The Windows' Cracking Sound" (1:46) (9/10) is another unusual song for its surprising mix/engineering: the entire time a heavily treated electric guitar is slowly strumming the accompaniment to Joe Paynes' delicate, untreated voice, a drummer is jamming away at a very fast pace in the background. Once, at the end, the drums are brought up to front and center before being faded back to deep background for the horn opening of the next song, 4. "Chapter I - Exterior - Who Can It Be" (6:34) is a song performed by a horn ensemble with occasional whispered vocal and mid-song classical guitar interlude (including a brief slightly angular/diminished replication of Beethoven's "Ode to joy"). The post-guitar interlude shifts into PETER HAMMILL territory with some odd jazz instrumentation for accompaniment and the PH vocal. When thing amp back up--first via return of the horns and then full TOBY DRIVER-like band to spacey end. So odd! So outstanding! (10/10)5. "Chapter I - Exterior - The Origin of Blame" (3:27) starts out as a piano-accompanied cabaret-like vocal much in the MATTHEW PARMENTER style. The cacophonous 'chorus' is equally 'out there'--but so creative and idiosyncratic! This is such an amazing mind that can successfully weave such odd and unusual sounds and styles into the flow of this, a concept album. I call it genius! (10/10)6. "Chapter I - Exterior - Prey's Prayer" (6:07) is an instrumental support/setup for an amazing guitar solo. The guitar play reminds me of JEFF BECK, ROY BUCHANAN, HIRAM BULLOCK, or RAY GOMEZ! Great horn support. This is not a song to be missed! Guitar this sublime is too seldom recorded! (10/10)7. "Chapter II - Interior - Sunlight" (8:20) opens with some more adventurous guitar sounds before shifting into a sensitive acoustic guitar supported ballad--not unlike the recent work of JOHANNES LULEY including the voice (though on this song Joe's voice is more similar to that of RITUAL lead vocalist, Patrik Lundström). Quite unusual song structure and sound combinations. So like our enigmatic chameleon Nikiitas! Excellent song. The final section sounds like recent ECHOLYN before the solo voice closes in Peter Hammill fashion! (10/10)8. "Chapter II - Interior - The Relic" (8:28) opens with a minute of purposefully picked chords on acoustic guitar which are eventually joined by Joe Payne's equally composed yet emotional vocal. By the end of the second minute piano and then full band have joined in to support a multi-voiced chorus. In the instrumental fifth minute the music builds in layers and intensity before crescendoing and crashing into silence with a brilliantly placed audible sigh to restore the gentle yet plaintive sounds and structures of the opening. Piano and violin--and later cello--perform some nice soli to accompany the synth orchestral sounds. Nice Post Rock song. (9/10)9. "Chapter - Suiciety" (6:40) opens with a fast-paced, hard-driving PORCUPINE TREE-like sound of drums, odd spacey synth sounds and ominous keyboard bass chords until 1:37 when the drumming cuts the pace in half while the pile of ominous incidentals and washes mounts higher and higher. Then at 2:20 everything drops away to leave the slowly picked notes of a solo classical guitar. Cymbol play accompanies the addition of orchestral participation (I especially like the horns sections' contributions). This is then followed by a creative section in which the drummer creatively fills orchestra-supported 'space' with his cymbol and kit play. A return to full force in the ominous chord progressions crescendoes and decays while Joe Payne's treated voice alone fills the album's sad finale. (9/10)This is an awesome album of eclectic music! Being a concept album with songs integrated to express this elevates it a notch above Methexis' previous 2011 effort, The Fall of Bliss (which I also love). A brilliant masterpiece of modern progressive rock music--one that gets me so excited to come back to it and hear it again. Special shout out to Linus KÃ¥se and Nikos Zades, the keyboard player and sound design/D&B programmer, respectively. Amazing contributions! And Walle! Awesome play on the batterie! Check this one out, people!5 stars, definitely essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music." - ProgArchives
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  • CD/DVD digibook.  The DVD includes a 5.1 and DTS surround mix."Prog is, at times, a strangely divided world. On one side are the true progressives, fiercely determined to push music forward into the future. On the other side stand the stuck-in-the-mud individuals whose primary objective is to cling tenaciously to the ways of the past.Cheating the Polygraph is guaranteed to ruffle the latter camp’s feathers. A collection of Porcupine Tree songs reworked using big-band instrumentation and a modern-minded approach to arrangement, calling this album quirky would be something of an understatement.Some are likely to struggle to get past the superficial level of instrumentation, timbre, and tone – but beneath it can be felt the pounding pulse of pure creativity. On Cheating the Polygraph, timeless prog-rock tunes such as The Sound of Muzak, Heartattack in a Layby, Futile, and this long-player’s title track are all given superficially jazzy makeovers that actually owe as much to the influence of Frank Zappa as they do to less batshit-crazy genius bandleaders of decades past.For me, the band-falling-down-a-spiral-staircase groove of The Pills I’m Taking is a definite highlight – but that does nothing to take away from the masterful musicianship on display throughout every last microsecond of Cheating the Polygraph‘s running time. This eight-track album took five years to make, and the labours and love that have been poured into its creation are as tangible as they could possibly be when communicated through ones, zeroes, and soundwaves. Unsurprisingly flawless, but also unexpectedly addictive and moreish." - The Musical Melting Pot
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  • Hailed as "one of the most original and daring groups on planet", Australia’s VOYAGER has battled geographical isolation to tour Europe twice, perform at ProgPower Europe 2006 and share stages with diverse acts like NIGHTWISH, STEVE VAI, SOILWORK and ALESTORM. They are the first Australian band ever to be invited to play at the prestigious PROGPOWER USA festival in 2011.The band's loyal international fanbase has praised its incredibly catchy songwriting and compared its sound to a mixture of AMORPHIS' thirst for melody, SOILWORK's heaviness and the crystal vocal clarity of A-HA's Morton Harket. Formed in 1999, VOYAGER has 3 full-length albums under its belt, each one propelling them further into cult status as an elite progressive metal band."The Meaning of I" is an introspective, at times electronic, yet occasionally uplifting journey into the mind in search of meaning. It is a culmination of VOYAGER's sound: polished yet organic, heavy yet melodic, dark yet playful. Its melody, songwriting and structure tastefully flow through a labyrinth of emotions, perfected by the mixing and mastering work of Jens Bogren (OPETH, KATATONIA, SOILWORK). The album is complemented by the guest vocal performances of Dan Tompkins (TESSERACT) and DC Cooper (ROYAL HUNT). Once again, artwork master George Grie provided the gripping cover to complete this journey into the mind.
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