Before The Dawn
Rise of the Phoenix


3.5
great

Review

by Magnus Altkula STAFF
April 29th, 2012 | 42 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Before The Dawn: Chapter 7 - Where Tuomas Saukkonen finally growls the band's name and it sounds really badass

After giving last year’s Deathstar Rising a favorable review, I was rather certain it will be the last overly positive piece of criticism I will bestow upon Before The Dawn. Don’t get me wrong, I have always enjoyed the band as throughout their career they have been a consistently solid melodeath act boasting a gothic twist, but with six albums behind their backs and their formula wearing thin, the chances of them releasing another truly exciting record seemed slimmer than ever. That is where I went wrong though. Tuomas Saukkonen, the main man in Before The Dawn and a tireless workhorse in the Finnish metal scene, promised that Before The Dawn will come back stronger than ever after the Deathstar Rising cycle and a slew of member changes, and when Tuomas says something, he means it, dammit. On their seventh studio album, Before The Dawn have yet again managed to squeeze out most of the juices from a rather generic melodeath formula, and much like last year, the album succeeds not because it is overly exceptional-sounding, but because it is alive and inspired.

What has changed this time around compared to Deathstar Rising, and other Before The Dawn albums in general, is that Rise of The Phoenix is notably heavier and also a tad darker when it comes to the overall mood. Tuomas Saukkonen announced after the release of Deathstar Rising and in the wake of upcoming member changes that he wants to drop the gothic elements the band had kept with them for their whole career, and instead opt for a more straightforward, but also more melancholic approach. And while Before The Dawn have never been a fun-sounding band, Rise of The Phoenix does indeed carry with it a distinct dark undercurrent that is a bit different compared to the band’s older works. On albums such as Soundscape of Silence and Deadlight, it was mainly up to the lead guitar and lyrics to create the melancholy, but here, every facet of the music oozes it. Whether it be the grander production or the more refined use of keys, Rise of The Phoenix exhibits the kind of melancholic edge that Tuomas Saukkonen’s other projects, namely Black Sun Aeon and Dawn of Solace, so expertly do.

But that on its own is not why Rise of The Phoenix succeeds. The album is above your average melodic death metal release because Tuomas Saukkonen and Juho Räihä (the two main contributors) have paid a lot of attention to the little details here. For example, the jumpy lick that kicks in around the three minute mark in "Pitch-Black Universe" is sweet as hell, and the piano outro to "Phoenix Rising" is a very nice touch. In other areas, the drums are much more on the forefront this time around as there is a lot of blasting going on, and the added acoustic parts serve as lovely bridges that connect the harsher sections together. And then there are, of course, the melodies, which are strong as ever (not to say that this is surprising in any way, seeing as how both Räihä and Saukkonen are experts at writing tasteful leads and melodic riffs). They are a little too familiar at times, truth be told, as Saukkonen has developed his own precise style over the years which is easily identifiable, but nevertheless the melodic lines are stronger than most of what comes out of the conventional melodic death metal genre these days.

In conclusion, what we have in Rise of The Phoenix is yet another solid melodic death metal record from one of the most reliable bands in the genre. It doesn’t steer away from the traditional formulas used in melodeath, but thanks to another stalwart performance by Before The Dawn’s two main men, Juho Räihä and Tuomas Saukkonen, it is a delightful listen regardless. I have no idea how they can make such a conventional formula work every single time, and now more than ever I am left bedazzled over it, but concurrently, the results speak for themselves. If there is one thing that is for certain, it's that there is no point in doubting the capabilities of Tuomas Saukkonen. Do that, and the man will find a way to prove you wrong, just as he has proved my doubts worthless with Rise of The Phoenix.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
FictionalFlames
April 29th 2012


1516 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Rise of the Phoenix is easily their best album in my book.

Nice review.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2012


8371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yup, it's either this or Soundscape of Silence for me. Also, this is like a 3.75, but I went for a 3.5 instead of a 4 because I like to refrain from inflating my ratings.

Thanks man.

Tyrael
April 29th 2012


20893 Comments


lol'd at the summary

gd rvw

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2012


7095 Comments


I dont know what it is about the personal tone of your reviews, just love the approach though.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2012


8371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

haha, thanks ipod (and Tyrael ofc), it is much appreciated.

HSThomas
April 29th 2012


668 Comments


Stylin' so hard as always. Pos'd.

HSThomas
April 29th 2012


668 Comments


melodeth

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2012


8371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hey Thomas, what happened to your comments?

And yes Riff, I successfully proved how shallow your collection of lolodeth is. Weep motherfucker, weep.

HSThomas
April 29th 2012


668 Comments


Dunno, probably Jom went crying to his mum that she should delete my comments after all I called him a hypocrite (he is). I know something similar happened to Josh D. once but meh doesn't really matter in the long run.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2012


8371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Aight, just weird to see it happen, seeing as how the mods have always said that they don't delete all comments made by a single user unless it's all spam or there's only a couple of them and they're stupid. I remember you having a bunch of them already and am certain that most of them weren't moronic.

HSThomas
April 29th 2012


668 Comments


Tbh I've said some stupid things on this site, mainly because of feeling shitty due to outside circumstances but yeah, it may just be a bug or something. Again though, really doesn't matter in the long run.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2012


8371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Tbh I've said some stupid things on this site
Haven't we all ;)?

And I'm also leaning more towards it being a bug of some sort. As long as you yourself aren't bothered by it, it's all cool though.

Shuyin
April 29th 2012


11827 Comments


new album already? this guy is a machine, great review btw.

Digging: Yoko Kanno - Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex OST Vol 1

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2012


16433 Comments


Where Tuomas Saukkonen finally growls the band's name and it sounds really badass


hahaha pos

Digging: Swallowed - Lunarterial

Ponton
Emeritus
April 29th 2012


5803 Comments


shoulda known. good work man

Lought
April 29th 2012


87 Comments


this soudns good tahnks for reviewing it

you rock so hard thansk dude from lought ssstayyy DOOOOM

moderndaydrool
April 29th 2012


322 Comments


rise of the fenix

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2012


8371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for the positive comments all and btw, the song where he growls "before the dawn" is called "Eclipse" ;).

DarkSideOfLucca
April 29th 2012


3359 Comments


They ripped off the greatest band in the world! The D!

Ponton
Emeritus
April 29th 2012


5803 Comments


what is The D?



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