Crimson Dawn - Chronicles Of An Undead Hunter

Crimson Dawn - Chronicles Of An Undead Hunter

(CD, Punishment 18 Records, 2017)

You know that feeling when you don’t really know what hit you, but you know you’re on something good? It can be either excitement or just well-being. Anyway, this happened on my first encounter with Italian CRIMSON DAWN when they played the ‘Malta Doom Metal' festival a few years ago. It’s hard to pinpoint what made them to stand out among a bunch of fantastic bands playing that year but they sure got to me and so did “Chronicles Of An Undead Hunter” which is CRIMSON DAWN’s second full length album.

The refined fines struck immediately. I love the combination of a raw and heavy bottom that is topped with great melodies and creative passages. Again, it is very hard to pinpoint what makes CRIMSON DAWN stand out this time too and what makes them appeal so much to me. Frankly, it’s pretty much standard Epic Doom with Heavy Metal influences we are talking about. After the buildup during the intro, “Twilight Of The Wandering Souls”, the gloom begins. “Eternal Is The Dark” starts very heavy and dark before lightening up a bit in the verses. The air in the riff does the groove very good and the vocal line adds some melancholy. Then, there is the resolution in the chorus; I really love it when the music is taken down to half tempo especially when there’s a powerful melody to keep the intensity up. Antonio Pecere’s voice is strong and clear and has just the right amount of rasp to make it tickle when cranking up the volume.

Then, the faster “Neverending Rain” becomes a smack in the face after the first mellower opening track. The galloping rhythm works well and again the pace is taken down in the chorus and again a strong and powerful vocal line to keep it all up. Even if the structure looks the same on paper, there’s a great difference between the songs. Thinking about it, especially in this song I start seeing what it is that makes CRIMSON DAWN special. They have such a good balance between the heavy riffs and the melodies served by the keyboards and guitars. They lay rather high in the register creating and airy sound without losing the heavy feel in the music. “The Suffering” became an immediate favourite from “Chronicles Of An Undead Hunter”; I love the gnawing beat in the song and the fact that it is the melody that generate much of the rhythm - at least in the chorus. “The Skeleton Key” has a more folksy feel and the strong sing-along chorus could have fitted in any high end Power Metal band if it would have been a bit more up-tempo. The part after the second chorus holds a passage sung in Italian which really makes this work. Generally, Folk Metal is not my favourite but when the part is taken down in intensity, makes this sound more like classical music, and with this, it really works.

My absolute favourite is “Gaze Of The Scarecrow”; the track starts off super Doom-y and it certainly doesn’t become happier when the vocals come in. The melancholy is fantastic and the minimal back-up by the instruments is absolutely phenomenal. Then comes the chorus which is still mellow but full on with the instruments. It’s inevitable to not mention CANDLEMASS as a reference when describing CRIMSON DAWN; it’s definitely not any rip-off but the beat and feeling are there. But for this song, in the heavy parts, TROUBLE also comes to mind. The instrumental up-tempo second half of the song breaks it up nicely. I really like when there are songs on a record that deviates from the standard structure.

Another song that I’ve put on repeat is “Dark Ride”; again, the variation in intensity really does it all. Even if the record was striking from start, it’s after a few spins it really comes to its real rights. My reaction on the rather raw sounding guitar that kicks off the song becomes stronger and stronger with every spin giving me goose-bumps. CRIMSON DAWN’s music is soft and mellow, it’s neat but is has nerve and despite both being slow and melodic holds great intensity. That’s really what makes it great. Also, the fact that there are some fines and details which makes it grow for each spin. So, I guess I got it now; I know why they stood out and I know why I love “Chronicles Of An Undead Hunter”.





01. Twilight Of The Wandering Souls
02. Eternal Is The Dark
03. Neverending Rain
04. The Suffering
05. The Skeleton Key
06. Gaze Of The Scarecrow
07. Dark Ride
08. Checkmate In Red
09. To Live Is To Grieve


Antonio Pecere - Vocals
Dario Beretta - Lead Guitar, Vocals
Marco Rusconi - Guitar
Alessandro Reggiani Romagnoli - Bass
Emanuele Laghi - Keyboards
Luca Lucchini - Drums