Review | Armored Dawn – Brand New Way
Brazilian metal band Armored Dawn is somewhat of an oddity in music. Their blend of metal fuses a wide array of styles, modern and classic, linear with a storytelling element in its lyrics adding meaning to the execution of the songs. Setting them apart from the majority of bands, Armored Dawn thrives on this fusion and sees challenges met with persistence and daring compositions, as `Brand New Way’ immediately displays.
TRIPLE AXE ATTACK
Modern synth and sound interaction open to a bliss of heavy riffs and groove, batting ,,Tides” into the field. The triple axe attack once made famous by Leatherwolf returns to the fold with Timo Kaarkoski, Heros Trench and Tiago de Maura enriching the music with heavy riffs and impressive soloing, in the best Brazilian recipe. It is however the combustion of the songs and its solid groove that create the outline for Armored Dawn’s heaviness, with Fernando Quesada impressive bass playing and Rodrigo Oliveira’s powerful drums.
They guard the constant shifts of metal for Eduardo Parras to flex his vocals over. With the narrative of the tracks brought to the front as key element, Parras’s clean middle register is colorful but limited in conveying the song’s lyrics. Though he makes it work, it is a slight limitation on the flexibility brought forward in arrangements.
MUSCLES AND CHOPS
On the opening track he draws a deep sincere wail and moan maintaining his melancholic delivery, while for ,,SOS” he carries across a modern and transparent clean (mid)range. The latter itself is more contemporary, yet progressively opened. It checks boxes of modernity and borders with modern acts due to the wonderful melodies and Rafael Agostino’s keen ear adding the right tone with his keys and synths. Roaring loud with grunts, the discord with the melodic voicing ads the distress of the song. It is a song that works and nests instantaneously.
Double bass driven monster ,,Enough” displays the bands muscles and chops, all maintaining focus on construction of the songs, top to bottom. Swinging those three axes high and with powerful groove ,,The Pretender” pulls forward with the same characteristics, heavy on its constructional mechanics.
Less static, ,,Too Far” and ,,Purify” use modern synth and sounds pushing forward the drum dynamics with dominant force. Smashing floors and toms with force, constantly shifting bass drum action, the song feels progressive rather than groovy. The guitars ad to the song’s deep lustre, constantly swapping duties amongst the 3 players. Tone is rich and the interplays wonderful. Smashing it out of the ballpark. Leaning on those shoulders is the opening of the haunting ,,Ghosts” which rapidly changes shape and shreds skin constantly. Anger-laden raw and ravishing, with Rammstein moan, the song propels. ,,Brand New Way” catches fire with these aesthetics and is jumpier grooved powering up for its chorus.
Absolutely wonderful is the warming and melancholic slow mover ,,No Regrets”, with its great solos flying over the board. Piano frequently lures you and the song’s throbbing pulse is exquisite. Vocally it touches deep, but Parras fuels only a moaning register to carry his ,,…I feel no shame”, across with melancholic accolades. ,,Stronger Together” feeds of these elements, yet shifts back in gears entirely to convey emotion. Heart touching, acoustic guitars dominate and the song intensifies with the addition of strings. Parras touches deep and his vocals shine with a rough edge, straight into you. It is one of those songs on which he shines, with the band adding great marksmanship.
AMORED DAWN – THE CONCLUSION
`Brand New Way’ is an album with heavy groove and wonderful musical interaction. Very melodic and heavy, it catches fire. The vocals are a point of attention as Parras has to draw from his clean mid-range, but gets somewhat stuck as the demand for melodic delivery is dominant. The addition of a second vocalist with power metal range would perhaps stir up more of the songs emotions and the interaction will fuse the bands heaviness. Though I am not a proclaimer of multiple vocalists, Armored Dawn can break barriers with such move, as the band features a lot of musical genius able to shine brighter.
Nonetheless, this album is one you should check as it bears a lot of wonderful moments. Great album!
Release date: 29 November 2023