Dawnrider - Doom Over Invicta [Universal Tongue - 2012]Dawnrider is a doom metal band from Portugal, and this live recording celebrates their eight year of activity. I'm no expert of modern doom metal, and I have to confess that I had’nt heard of this band before but the extremely cheesy artwork with its classic and naive metal band pictures caught my eye from among the stash of releases to review.
From the first note the influences of this band are clear and loud: classic heavy metal/doom in the style of Black Sabbath or Pentagram, with no frills and no concessions to "modern" metal. The music is of course slow, the guitar riffs monolithic and repetitive and the rhythm session is bulky and fierce. The screaming vocals sound very old school, almost coming from a NWOBHM band or an early thrash metal record.
The riffs are ok but none of them clicks that special button that turns it into a memorable milestone, so the album becomes a little dull after a while but I guess that this also depends on personal taste and on one's familiarity with Dawnrider's material. The sound is good enough for an underground live recording, and it seems like the band was caught on a good day.
The conclusive seventeen minutes-long track is a studio medley of two tracks from a previous release. The spirit is the same, only the sound is clearer and more powerful. I still prefer the live sound with all the chatter and murmuring though. "Doom Over Invicta" doesn't offer anything but fairly good old school seventies heavy metal/hard rock - no growls, no gore, no brutality, no fancy production. Those who're looking for anything else should avoid this album completely. On the other hand, fans of the fantastic music of the early seventies might find solace in Dawnrider's obsessive tunes.
The album contains liner notes for each track, with a little explanation of their atmosphere and themes, and a bit of history of the band. Their quasi-religious thematics are a bit odd for me, but to each his own. In conclusion "Doom Over Invicta" was not much more than good background music for me, but it's a sincere and candid tribute to some of my favorite sounds so I can't complain much. Nicola Vinciguerra