Another lesson in nostalgia: Who remembers PC classics like Dungeon Master, Wizardry, Ultima and/or Might And Magic? If you get wet panties just because these names are even mentioned, consider to accompany your next retro gaming session with “The Art Of Dreaming”. THIS is what the soundtrack to these games should have sounded if it was metal, a timeless masterpiece of epic avantgardish tunes, with some atmospheric parallels to BAL-SAGOTH who at that time released “Starfire Burning upon the Ice-Veiled Throne of Ultima Thule”.
While aforementioned are masters of stellar poetry and storytelling, GOLDEN DAWN’s first full-length suggests (musically) good old medieval, dragon-slaying fantasy; far from the cheesy melodies of Power Metal bands arising in Italy and Sweden. GOLDEN DAWN deliver epic and majestic melodies combined with good, old and raw Black Metal; weird guitar melodies; fast and classical piano piece intermissions; synth experiments; and whatever not. I don’t know what they put in the water over there in Austria, but I definitely want some too: Austrian bands have that certain “something”, a hint of crazyness that GOLDEN DAWN does not lack, too.
What appeals to me most (and makes me listen to “The Art Of Dreaming” every so often) is that while the whole music is very complex and thoughtful arranged, GOLDEN DAWN manage to sound spontaneous, visceral and fresh so that this has become kind of an evergreen in my collection. Black Metal blast beats turning into some kind of harp solo, majestic synths with the obligatory male choir evolving into something ambient, just to blast away again; the whole album is not boring for even a single second and continue to surprise until the very end.
I highly recommend this if you are into BAL-SAGOTH, or early ENID who create similar ambiences. A slightly unpolished (in a positive way) gem which did not get the attention it should have back in 1996, and whose successor “Masquerade” (which is in fact the third album released before the second, to make matters a bit complicated) could not persuade me as much as “The Art Of Dreaming” did.
01 – Ideosynchronicity
02 – The Art Of Dreaming
03 – Nothing But The Wind
04 – My Confession To War
05 – Sub Specie Aeternitatis
06 – The Majesty Of My Kingdom Afar
07 – The Sorcery Of The Nagual Side
08 – Per Aspera Ad Astra
09 – Beyond The Mortal Shell