Dawnrider - The Third Crusade

It’s been a relative long time since an album has had me so transfixed with its power, melody and strength of song writing. Portugal’s Dawnrider are that current band. Based in the doom sub-genre, this is both traditional and epic at the same time. The subtle use of the Hammond organ also adds a sense of authenticity to the sounds, it simply works on all levels.

The eleven plus minute opener ‘Demons’ has you thinking of hybrid sounds between Medieval Steel’s epic heavy metal, Candlemass and Count Raven’s soulful doom and the trippy phase of early Spiritual Beggars and Cathedral via the aforementioned Hammond organ inclusion and upbeat nature of some of the tracks.  ‘Falling’ finds sounds that include some of Priest’s ‘Beyond The Realms of Death’ chord progressions, a similar incidental occurrence of progression rather than plagiarism, you can hear many classic metal bands within this music, but the overall stance is doom. Tracks like ‘Cry of the Vampyre’ are perfect, there is a real sense of getting the job done rather than meandering over long drawn out pieces of music. But in contrast, the longer songs such as the opener already mentioned and ‘Absolute Power’ really balance out as they are elements of time and style changes, which keep the tracks entertaining. With the latter, ‘Absolute Power’, you will have your fist pumping in the air, it has a feel of say Grand Magus and Arkham Witch, classic heavy metal mixed with some doom.

If you don’t know this band, you should really check them out. Admittedly this is my first flurry with this band and as the title suggests this is the third full length effort along with split releases with the likes of Apostle of Solitude. But if you want some even more cult classic then you should note that in November, there will be a picture disc vinyl version released via Blood and Iron Records and Raging Planet to accompany this CD version which is already available.

‘The Third Crusade’ is laden with classic heavy metal and doom, this is stunning release, it has a sound that is most pleasing and is arranged to produce the maximum level of enjoyment via a powerful production that has the ability to destroy your speakers. This is a really exciting album.

  1. Demons
  2. Falling
  3. Cry Of The Vampyre
  4. Iron Freebird
  5. Absolute Power
  6. Esperanca
  7. Marching To The Death