Symphonic black metal is a relatively newer subgenre in the metal category, only having been around for the past 20 years or so. If you’re unfamiliar with this style, Dawn of Ashes newest album, Daemonolatry Gnosis, is a great example of how keyboards, synthesizers, and pianos can elevate the theatrical experience of this subgenre.
The opening song on the album, ‘The Initiation’, is an instrumental piece that sets the stage for the musically theatrical journey that you will be heading down. ‘Gods of the Antinomian Path’ starts strong with a double bass-pedal beat and ethereal synthesizers that create tension while low vocal growls showcase the brutality of the band. The climactic intro to ‘Guardians’ could easily be envisioned playing over the opening credits or an epic battle scene in a movie and features an orchestral arrangement of strings and a haunting backing choir.
‘Magick for the New Aeon’ features a duet with Cradle of Filth’s keyboardist Lindsay Schoolcraft, who adds the perfectly ominous, yet angelic, vocals that serve as a stark contrast to lead singer Kristof’s deep growls and vocals. The final song on the album features a cover of Mayhem’s 1993 single ‘Freezing Moon’, which showcases an updated version of the original. The song maintains enough similarities that it is easily recognizable as ‘Freezing Moon’, yet lends the band enough creative-license and freedoms to add an electronic element into the mix, thereby modernizing the sound to better fit the masses.
Dawn of Ashes’s Daemonolatry Gnosis is exactly what you would expect from a symphonic death metal band; the best elements of several different genres compiled into one piece of work and lathered in metal distortion, beats, and vocals.
Daemonolatry Gnosis is available June 9th on Metropolis Records.
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