The Sonic Dawn
Eclipse


4.0
excellent

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
February 3rd, 2019 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: How to forget about Winter for 35 minutes...

The affinity the people in Denmark and Sweden have for sunny psychedelia and classic/hard rock is commendable. Joining the strong roster are The Sonic Dawn, who have quite rapidly become a band to follow closely. The Danish trio have found their feet rather fast on the debut LP and two years later proved on Into the Long Night there’s room to expand as well. Nevertheless, the foundation of their work is based upon ‘60s psychedelic pop tunes with a touch of blues rock, soul and Americana. Luckily, these influences found their way to the fore front on the latest effort, Eclipse. Leaving aside lengthier instrumental passages in favor of focused ditties, the group’s attention to melody paid off best this time around.

Musically, The Sonic Dawn retained the vintage production (especially that guitar twang) to provide a valid ‘60s pastiche. Thankfully, there’s a large spectrum of tunes on Eclipse, ranging from delicate, dreamy cuts to grittier rockers. Roughly half of the album stands out on a first listen, probably with ‘Forever 1969’ up front. The opener’s steady groove and gorgeous vocals are stunning, plus every detail comes across so natural in the mix. Also, the immediate ‘No Chaser’ & ‘Love Bird’ will get you dancing in no time with their stomping beats and driving guitars. Meanwhile, mid-tempo numbers such as ‘To Change Who We Are’, ‘Islands in Time’ or ‘Circle of Things’ are enhanced by hypnotic bass lines. The drums play along tightly, sharing the spotlight alongside the warm vocals. I really enjoy how the guys kept things simple and straightforward. Everything is in the right place, there is nothing thrown for the sake of it or overdone.

The remaining half of the album is split between a string of laid back tracks and a couple of rockers surrounding them for balance. The surf-leaning, ‘Opening Night’ gently sways along, while the smooth ‘Last Page’ is augmented by a paranoid synth lead. On the other side, ‘Christiania’ toys with a cool, faint reverse reverb on the guitar solo and gang vocals that would make Motorpsycho happy. All these slight variations and changes are definitely welcomed, creating a diverse LP without having to step beyond its sonic boundaries. Lastly, The Sonic Dawn decided to end this strong record with a pastoral, folksy song whose mournful atmosphere settles in like the chilly night after a long, sunny day. There’s a slight uneasy feeling to it and the growth in volume on the second half only amplifies it. A Hammond organ replaces the soft croon, complementing a final jam that ends the journey. The chemistry between the members improved significantly since their debut and I hope they continue to hone their output, because Eclipse is a big step in the right direction. Even if you haven't been aware of these guys until now, you should give this a spin, it's a fun affair.




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user ratings (9)
Chart.
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 3rd 2019


4815 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I wasn't a big fan of the band's two albums before Eclipse, but they found a lovely sweet spot here. Listen to it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdRacB8gsb0

Digging: Elder (USA-MA) - The Gold & Silver Sessions

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 3rd 2019


8378 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2 | Sound Off

Great review, band is among the best in quaint rock.



Heard this a couple of times, it’s indeed more straightforward than its predecessor, nevertheless I didn’t see myself being drawn as forcefully and instantly from Eclipse as I was from Into the Long Night, which is essential progressive rock in spirit but not in form.



Also, I sensed a melancholy overarching the whole release, relevant to recent hardship experienced by band members, and the world in general.

Digging: Norman Shores - De L'Ombre Surgit La Lumire

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2019


4815 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's a funny thing, because I wasn't such a big fan of Into the Long Night (it's a good record, but Eclipse sounds as if they took the best parts off that one and took them to the next level IMO). Yes, I agree there's a darker layer beneath the sweet melodies, but since they didn't detail it that much, I didn't want to put it in front of the music.

Asura14
February 4th 2019


246 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Never heard of these guys but first song in and I'm already feeling this shit.

Great review, would never guess these dudes are Danish

Digging: Benny The Butcher - The Plugs I Met

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2019


4815 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, it sounds like a San Francisco hippie band.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 4th 2019


16298 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review Raul. I was almost sure you were gonna review the latest Spidergawd too, did you jam it yet?

Digging: Lingua Ignota - Caligula

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 5th 2019


4815 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks! No, I randomly found a few days ago they released a new album. I have yet to check it out. If you want to review it, feel free to do so.

MotokoKusanagi
February 5th 2019


1878 Comments


hmm this looks up my alley

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 6th 2019


16298 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

@insomniac I may cook smth for it then yeah, let me know what you think of it!

Asura14
February 6th 2019


246 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The first half of the album works much better for me than the second, still not sure how I feel about it as a whole

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2019


8378 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2 | Sound Off

^^I feel the same way, maybe it's the inflated track list having a better chance in diluting what the band tries to get across with this album.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2019


4815 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The final three tracks are some of the best on the album for me, but I agree there are some less interesting ditties in the middle stretch.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2019


8378 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2 | Sound Off

The more I listen to this, the more I link it with Graveyard's Lights Out; of course the music styles are different, but the general vibes feel similar.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2019


4815 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I agree, the vibes are similar. This reminded me I haven't checked their latest album, Peace.

McTime50
February 7th 2019


877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

2 listens in and I'm finding that when I really focus on the music there's a lot of cool stuff, but it lends itself for you to zone out a lot. Still enjoyable.

Digging: Prince Daddy and The Hyena - Cosmic Thrill Seekers



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