First let me say straight out that I am not a big fan of heavy metal music. Suffice it to say that also includes all the sub-genres of heavy metal including (but not limited to) power metal, folk metal, alternative metal, death metal, symphonic metal, etc. So you can imagine my trepidation when I was given the task to review the new album by the melodic death metal group Dawn of Eternity. Don’t get me wrong, I get it. I understand the nucleus of the genre inspired by tales of Norse mythology and the artwork of Frank Frazetta. In general, the genre is typified by growling vocals, guitar riffs faster than a steam locomotive, lots of third and fifth chords, varying time signatures and drum and bass lines that can give you Excedrin headache #666 if you’re not careful. Because of the nature of the music, the subject matter tends to focus on violence, hatred, anger; in general the darker side of our existence. When you dissect the musicality of what you hear, I admire the practitioners of this music because what they do is extremely intricate and must blend well together or you end up with a soup of noise. In simple terms, these musicians are very talented and take their virtuosity to a new level. The musical genre is huge in Scandinavia and culminates every year for the past 25 at the Wacken Open Air festival, which attracts crowds in excess of 80,000 for the three day late-summer festival.
With all that being said, and my deadline looming, I fired up my computer, opened the file containing the MP3 files and set to work. The album starts out with a pleasant riff and the line “In the darkness / I hope your ego burns your soul” …and we’re off. In all seriousness, the sound emanating from my Logitech computer speakers did not make me a convert but I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I was interested enough to realize and understand that if I wanted to experience the totality of the musical experience I had to go further, so I broke out the headphones and cranked it up. Rarely does a lyric in a song make me run for a dictionary but in this case, by the fifth song on the album, “Sing for Me” I did just that. The line that piqued my curiosity was “The felicity of fugacious times” and is delivered with such bravado, it took me by surprise. All in all, as far as the genre is concerned, Dawn of Eternity is a winner.
The band is fronted by lead singer Sara Seubert. I don’t know how many (blank) metal bands are fronted by a female lead singer, my guess would be not many, but she adds a dimension to this band that is on some level, disarming and very comforting. That and the fact that this girl can sing which gives this band an added dimension as displayed on the track “Fire” which is a lower key acoustic number that closes the album. The band’s press statement starts off, “Where the voice of an angel meets the music of the devil.” And I could not have said it better myself. The band is anchored by Johannes Kittel on guitars and background vocals and a kick ass rhythm section featuring Sebastian Klüfer on bass and Torsten Ossowicki on drums. For fans of all the sub-genres of metal music, Dawn of Eternity is certainly a band that should be on your radar and the album “Guilty” should be on your “must play” list because they are the real deal. The stand out tracks on the album are “Ego”, “Amorticure”, “Guilty”, and “Fire”. The deluxe version of the album which was released on November 1st includes additional tracks and demos and is well worth checking out.
D of E Website
Holding a band together for a number of years is a balancing act of personalities and egos, and few bands who have never made it to super stardom can manage the territory successfully. King Size, has managed to do that and this year is celebrating 25 years of music with a release called “Around and Around”, originally recorded in 2000 but being re-issued as part of their 25 year anniversary celebration. King Size is glued together by “Major” Tom Proll who, after the demise of the band Life Wire in 1989 founded the band with bassist Chris Peter and a talented cadre of musicians including Peter Patek, Gordon McMichael and Peter Wagner. For several years, these journeymen rockers turned out songs and entertained audiences worldwide. Throughout the nineties, King Size morphed through personnel changes and re-emerged in 2000 with new tracks and a new album. The band’s current line up consists of Proll, Michi Beck on drums, Klaus Niederhuber singing lead vocals, Wiff Enzenhofer on keyboards Isabella Rozic as a second vocalist and Mario Puncec on bass.
Say what you will about King Size but the collection that has just been released on NRT-Records fits right in with standard AOR and classic rock radio airplay. On this collection, there is something for everyone; upbeat rockers like “Winners and Losers” and “Machinery”, power ballads like “Could this be Love” and “Isabel” with enough catchy hooks to draw listeners in and make them want more. If I had to describe the band’s sound to anyone unfamiliar with their music, I would start with Foreigner in their prime and add Toto and The Alan Parsons Project to the mix.
King Size is not a household name and sadly probably never will be but rock and roll is littered with artists and bands who never quite made it to household name status. They never had a hit single that defined a generation but very few bands do. That, however does not diminish the talent and drive of Major Tom and the band he created and has led for twenty five years now. That in and of itself is an accomplishment worthy of recognition. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of the newly released “Around and Around” and add King Size to your list of one the best bands that escaped your attention over the past quarter century.
Uncle Duke; a.k.a. Rob Penland is the producer and host of "The Mad Music Asylum" a 4 hour weekly syndicated radio show and now a 24 hour streaming internet station.