Tuesday, February 15, 2011
In the late 90's several European metal bands took a left hand turn and it was all of a sudden well suited for many bands to be avante-garde, "jazzy", or neo-whatever. Its hard to say what Beyond Dawn's ambitions were around this time but Revelry came at a perfect time for people interested in this movement. The uber-dreary pace and rejection of excited tempos and repetitious melody have been shed, and its clear here that Beyond Dawn are steady on a different direction, even if the direction they were on before was quite different.
Less claustrophobic production, less reliance on heavily distorted guitars, more rock oriented drumming and singing are what lend to Revelry being a more in this vein than Pity Love was. I have to cringe whenever I use this term "avante-garde". I understand the intent in its relevance, but I feel like its more of a genre unto itself rather than a genre referencing anything prior...as stated in its moniker. Just because a band uses horns, or unconventional instrumentation or song structure, certainly doesn't make them avante-garde. However, the term punk used to mean that which was different from regular music, and then once that became regular, alternative sprung up, then all these post-____'s came about. So I take issue with this proverbial "chasing of the tail" that we music nerds do. I find it as if people will use a rejection of a certain genre to sell music and I usually prefer to stay away from labels and genre's anyways because more often than not it robs the art of its identity. I do wholeheartedly feel like a lot of these bands were seeking their own new grounds at this period in time but I cant explain how so many of them ended up sounding so similar. Anyways I should talk about this album huh?
After a pretty accessible start the album takes off at track two. The song consists of a strong upbeat tempo and catchy horn riffs that give the song a unique blend of ideas. The reliance of electronic instrumentation becomes more prevalent here. Beyond Dawn consistently achieves their dirgey slowed down mirth of gleaming depression and I respect them immensely for that. They have a knack of going about it in so many different ways. In the middle section of the album it tends to drag on a bit I have to admit. Until "Breath the Jackal" which is probably the albums best tune, there isn't much to munch on after track two. Vocally here Espen is lazily carrying his patented tune, not unlike a more spoken and whimsical version of Michael Gira, only "real" singing more during the more urgent choruses.
As a whole this album suffers from being kind of same-y, as in after a few good tracks it tapers off into a handful of songs that all sort of clump into one ball with few memorable highlights. These songs only serve to fulfill the demeanor of the album and all in all I'd say this is the turning point for the band as we'll see with Electric Sulking Machines, which is an even greater leap into the unknown.