Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Review: Dawn Of Elysium 'Sense Of Belonging'


'Sense Of Belonging'

These days just about anybody with access to the internet and some basic production software can release music into the world, sometimes long before they really should. Dawn Of Elysium are not one such band. Having been formed for a year or so the Bradford four-piece cemented their line-up and honed their sound before playing anything in front of a crowd. After a few secret gigs, then a few higher profile ones, they decided to get in the recording studio. The four track 'Sense Of Belonging' EP is the result and a very promising one at that.

Opening track 'Doused In Green' begins with a classic goth-bass jangle over which raw guitars finish the 80s sound. Subtle keyboards add a contemporary edge and Alec Marlow's  vocals rumble above. The style is just right but it is also clear they have made it their own from this first song.

'See You Now' is a stand out track, using the full spectrum of the group's talents. The synth keyboard gets to take the lead which, when backed by running drums gives the whole thing a driving energy. Marlow's vocals suit this style perfectly and are seemingly effortless - slightly theatrical and aggressive without being contrived, like some less complicated fast-paced Anathema.

'At The Sky' is a similar dark rock track which balances the keyboards with organic guitars and drums into something that could easily be listened to on repeat. Final song 'Lost And Found' is the obligatory 'quiet track', but Dawn Of Elysium manage to pull this off too, and without losing any of the reputation built over the previous songs the end of their EP crescendos into the distance.

Although a little rough around the edges 'Sense Of Belonging' comprises well balanced gothic rock songs, the kind that would sound best played live. Despite the group's clear experience of and fondness for the scene (old and new) their material manages to not be derivative. Not easy to achieve in a scene often obsessed with self-referencing.

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