Dawnbringer - XX
Ektro Records
Remnants of a Heavy Metal band
5 songs (19'57")
Release year: 2016
Ektro Records
Reviewed by Alex

For a while I have been on record saying to the powers that be at MetalReviews.com that we do not have enough skeletons to cover all possible situations. Take the latest (and from the looks of it the last in the band career) EP from Dawnbringer, a 5-song record titled XX. If anything, I need to call it a Headscratcher of the Month, given that I cannot malign Dawnbringer with any epithets worse than this. Dawnbringer, after all, is Chris Black, of Pharaoh and ex-Nachtmystium fame, and a former Metal Maniacs writer as well. Most importantly, as Dawnbringer he is a creator of In Sickness and In Dreams and Into the Lair of the Sun God, two albums I hold in high esteem.

XX is apparently Chris’ way of saying goodbye, a last epitaph coming out of Dawnbringer. Per Chris Black himself, “something felt malfunctioning” with the last album or even earlier Nucleus, so apparently Chris decided to fold Dawnbringer sail for now, or forever. He is also on record saying he was OK, if the fans were left a little bewildered listening to XX. There is a good Russian saying that “when you decide to leave, just leave”, however, Chris apparently had a few ideas left, so he decided to put them out there. The trouble is those ideas are a total disconnected hodge-podge, feeling entirely disengaged and unfinished.

Why Would You Leave Me begins as an Americana desert rock jingle turning into a personal lament repeating “why would you leave me” endlessly. Into the Maze is at least a song, a gloomy Katatonia rock song to be more certain, but it revolves around a single note, with a solo to close. North by North is the last hurrah of Dawnbringer the epic heavy metal band. Slow rolling, and hanging on its rousing chorus for all its worth, North by North is stretched double unnecessarily, ending total mid-sentence, because Chris simply did not work on songwriting this time around, period. Earth and The End of the Beginning are a total testament to that, being a simple pointless collection of leftover riffs. There is definitely no “beginning” here of any kind …

It is acceptable when the last release is short, but it is not, when it is centered on ideas not worth putting the songs around. In Sickness and In Dreams is not that much longer, but is simply bloated with creativity. What would Chris Black the Metal Maniacs writer say about XX, I wonder? Oh, yeah, he already did say it “it is OK to leave everybody confused”. XX certainly gives that feeling. Perhaps he is going to concentrate his best efforts on Aktor and High Spirits, because XX cannot be a good way to be remembered by.

Killing Songs :
North by North, and it is a stretch to call it that
Alex quoted 56 / 100
Other albums by Dawnbringer that we have reviewed:
Dawnbringer - Into the Lair of the Sun God reviewed by Alex and quoted 80 / 100
Dawnbringer - In Sickness and In Dreams reviewed by Alex and quoted 87 / 100
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