Black metal force Dawn Ray’d strike back against tyrrany on fiery ‘Behold Sedition Plainsong’

Now’s the time to strike back. Here in the States, we’re under the thumb of a fascist regime that has done everything it can to lie, cheat, and steal in order to exert its control over the American people. That same thing is happening in many other places around the world, along with seeing extreme right-wing hate groups boil over and threaten people’s safety and well-being. It’s time for it to stop.

Funny enough, but the people who use violence and fear and terror to try to make their impact are the same people whining about the left not being peaceful enough in their protest and making those people who use fear feel threatened. Awww, poor babies. But fine, you want peaceful protest? Look no further than UK-based black metal band Dawn Ray’d, who have used their platform to fight fascism, sexism, racism, and any other force that works against the people. Their anarchic power is all over their records, including their new second full-length album “Behold Sedition Plainsong,” their first official release for Prosthetic Records. If you’re already indoctrinated into their sound, you know Dawn Ray’d create passionate, fiery black metal that also can be catchy and sticky, with an added element of violin weaving in those extra strains of sorrow. The band—vocalist/violinist Simon B., guitarist Fabian D., drummer Matthew B.—now has a wider reach with their alliance with Prosthetic, and as noted, now’s the time to strike back against the forces of tyrannical evil, which this record definitely does.

“Raise the Flails” is a quick introductory cut with guitars awakening, the violin stinging, and the power eventually kicking in, with strong wails by Simon B. lashing, “Wield your mighty lances! It’s time for new tales of resistance!” before we’re headed into “The Smell of Ancient Dust” that’s raucous as hell when it starts. The violin threads its way into the mix as harsh wails and sweeping playing catch you up in the madness, and a gritty chorus helps increase the surge. Later, the melodies swell massively, while the guitars march, the drums blister, and the track returns to dust. “Like Smoke Into Fog” has the guitars hanging in the air before they make good on their threat and rip the place apart. The vocals are savage on the verses, lashing back at corrupt cops and homophobic priests, and the galloping tempo then is tempered by a haze that rises momentarily before the playing ignites again. Fierce playing and destructive shrieks fire the final nails into the ground before acoustics join for the final moments. “To All, To All, To All!” bursts from the gates and immediately makes your blood rush as the shrieks rumble over the verses, only to have the song meet up with a folkish calm. From there, the violin cries before the song explodes again with monstrous wails, a stomping assault, and the strings stinging their last. “A Time for Courage at the Borderlands” begins with sorrowful playing, joined up by the violin, and from there, the band delves into the plight of others who find themselves turned away by those who could supply aid. “Can you imagine the horror of a fence they won’t let you through? Another country refusing help, what if that was you?” Simon B. posits, making the listener face the moral crisis amid a storm of playing that gushes with passion.

“Songs in the Key of Compromise” has blazing riffs and relentless verses along with vocals that refuse to cave in to pressure. The track then calms to a strum while the music begins to trickle through ice before fading. “Until the Forge Goes Cold” has raw wails and surging playing, as the melodies scrape against the skin, and delirious playing gets your mind racing. The riffs just keep piling up while punches are thrown, as Simon B. calls, “And when they asked us to kneel, fascism is the hand that keeps us down,” as everything disintegrates into a blazing inferno. “A Stone’s Throw” begins with moody acoustic guitars as the violin sweeps over the top, and hearty group singing causes the banners to flap. The track remains in a folk vein, a dark, dour feeling that chills your bones. “Soon Will Be the Age of Lessons Learnt” buzzes slowly as death growls and shrieks strike, and the playing goes for the throat. The violin playing adds heavy emotion behind it, as Simon B. wails, “Only in their death will our debt be erased, and we wait, build, grow, agitate,” all before the track is left to drip into dust. “Salvation Rite” begins with the violin leading like a beacon as the track slowly unfurls. Finally, the lid if ripped off and the fury boils over, while shrieks pound the senses, and a merciless tempo mixes into folk winds, dissipating into calm. “The Curse, the Dappled Light” ends the album by splattering mud and blood, unleashing a vicious pace that comes right for you. “And if they crush our fierce rebellion, if they stamp out defiance-light, I’d sooner cast off subordination and believe in reprisal, and die for spite,” Simon B. lashes as violins and majestic riffs melt together while the music fully floods over. The band vows to continue their fight whatever the cost, and everything bows out with the faint trace of their bonfires still filling your sinuses.

Dawn Ray’d have been fighting for justice and equality ever since they emerged four years ago, and already they’ve made a major impact for metal’s anti-fascist movement, which is gaining ground. But besides all of that, they’re also a blood-rushing, compassionate band that makes music you can feel deep inside your body. “Behold Sedition Plainsong” is a fire-breathing set of anthems that burn the torches against hatred and unquestioned power, a record that should unite those fighting the same battle to keep going until all of the enemy’s blood is drained.

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