Throes of Dawn
Binding of the Spirit

WWIII does it again with yet another excellent choice for re-release. Throes Of Dawn broke up a while back so I wondered if this re-release heralded a reformation of the band. Apparently it does, though with four new members; and their fourth album will be out later this year on Wounded Love, the same label that originally released Binding of the Spirit back in 2000.

Goth/black mix bands usually suck so I’ll just dispense with the word goth and call them dark metal, which is the term they prefer anyway. Now I can say a black metal band has gone dark and it won’t be the usual insult of “going goth.” Anyhow, what they are is black metal mixed with melodic death, so not really goth at all. They formed in 1994 and signed to Woodcut as one of their first bands. They have come a long way from the raw black of Pakkasherra. The black metal screams still dominate but now occasionally well-performed singing play off those screams.

Where Dreams of the Black Earth was occasionally overwhelmed by acoustic passages, here those passages are less common and less obtrusive. The trade off of the improved musicianship is a lack of aggression, which plagues many bands that play this style. The emphasis is still on emotion, but melancholic, not hatred. The songs are long and complex with symphonic orchestrated atmospheres as well as guitar-driven melodies. Most of these atmospheres are keyboard generated, and bands like Thy Serpent come to mind; it’s not as ominous. The press release from WWIII says, “Will appeal to fans of Dark Tranquillity and In Flames,” and that is probably true, but a closer match seems to be Tiamat and Therion mixed with Sentenced.

Standout songs are “The Last Rainbow Warrior is Dead,” “The Warprophet Dreams,” “On Broken Wings of Despair” and “Binding of the Spirit onto Earth.” If there are any fans of this genre out there that didn’t get Binding of the Spirit back in 2000, get it now and keep an eye out for album number four in late 2002.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
March 22nd, 2002

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