Genre: Melodic Death Metal / Gothenburg
01 The Random Twist of Fate?
02 Awake from an Evil Dream
03 The Plot Thickens
04 A Secret Revealed
05 Life is Only a Matter of Time
06 Letter to Nancy
07 The Light at the End of the Tunnel
Here we are with a concept album dealing with aliens. While Anachronaeon's newest album was released last year, this one, originally self-released in 2005 was also re-released by Stygian Crypt beside “As the Last Human Spot in me Dies”. Anachronaeon play progressive death metal with slightly doomy overtones, and hail from Västerås, Sweden. Strangely, they pull off some fairly complex music as just two entities. It seems that at some point, probably this album, there were two other members. There are keyboards present on this release though it doesn't say that Patrick Carlsson, the main songwriter, is a keyboard player. So I can only assume the work for this part was done by now ex-member Marcus Wadstein.
The dialog in the album continuously flows between a man simply named Jack and the Storyteller, except for a brief appearance from the Swedish president! I won't ruin the surprises and tell you why, but its an interesting ending to an overly impressive album. There is also a song called Letter to Nancy that doesn't involve the dialog of anyone, but rather the written words that Jack has found from a scientist to his beloved. The story of Jack more or less follows his short adventure after being kidnapped by unknown people/entities in a black van. It's a really nightmarish scenario that finds its last words being spoken of a not-so-happy ending.
There are only two disappointing aspects to The New Dawn. Firstly, though the dialog continuously goes back and forth between storyteller, and the thoughts of Jack, there is no difference in the voice that the vocalist uses which unfortunately makes it rather confusing to follow at certain points. The other part has to do with the music and the lyrics dually. Granted that obviously English isn't going to be the first language for a Swede, there are clearly sung moments that use words that just don't work in a heartfelt sung moment. See: “Browsing the web” and other various moments throughout. Then there's the bad placement of musical moments, like when Jack discovers that the United States have discovered Alien DNA. Once this is said, its immediately followed by an incredibly happy solo-bridge on guitar. It should have been a shocking moment, so I'm not sure why the band decided to use this particular sound.
There honestly wouldn't be any problems with this record at all if the band had avoided making it a concept album. Once you go down that path, you have to make the music follow the storyline, and if you fail to do so, it throws the whole mood off and sends the story into an uninteresting direction. If you just let the music speak for itself, The New Dawn is one of the better Swedish releases of this year, and Stygian Crypt are ace for picking it up. Try not to take the story too seriously and you should really find yourself enjoying this one.