Dawnbringer: Nucleus (Profound Lore)
Those who listen to metal and who believe in the music know that there is plenty of swilled detritus to sift through in order to find what's great and truthful. Nucleus (Profound Lore), Dawnbringer's fourth full-length is, horns down, one of the most honest metal records that has come out in a long-ass time, thanks to lyricist/vocalist/bassist Chris Black (also the lyricist for Nachtmystium and Superchrist).
Black became the de facto multi-instrumentalist emperor of the band when original bassist/vocalist John Weston split after Dawnbringer's debut EP, Sacrament, was released in 1996. It was with 1997's Unbleed, the band's debut full-length, that Black's talent for synergizing the midnight paranoia of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal with the charred, gutter sludge of '90s Florida-style death metal began to spawn. After relocating from Malvern, Penn., to Chicago in early 2000 and finding metal kin in guitarist Scott Hoffman, they followed with Catharsis Instinct. After six long years, the release of 2006's In Sickness and Dreams saw Black's glorious metal vision getting even clearer before culminating with Nucleus.
Shunning the George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher style of vocalization, Black's raw, shadowy delivery now echoes something akin to the bark from Lemmy Kilmister's throat circa 1979. To tie it together with an over-the-top metaphor, listening to Nucleus is like lying on a Coors-stained bed of switchblades as the hatchet-wielding Eddie from the cover of Iron Maiden's Killers album hacks away at the fuselage of Motorhead's Bombers--yet Nucleus still manages to sound dangerously fresh.
Being a studio band, Dawnbringer has only played three shows in its 16 years of existence. Hopefully, the release of Nucleus will put an end to that, but it may not. Check out tracks like "No More Sleep," "Swing Hard," "The Devil" and "Old Wizard" on Youtube, then buy a copy of the album in every format available. The vinyl is extraordinary--and limited.
With Nucleus, Dawnbringer shows a love of metal, an understanding of its history and a desire to keep pushing it forward while damning pretension. No garbage to sift through here.