Dawnrider - Fate Is Calling Part 1
Massacre Records
Epic True Metal
13 songs (55'10)
Release year: 2005
Dawnrider, Massacre Records
Reviewed by Marty
Surprise of the month
Dawnrider is the brainchild of Majesty mastermind Tarek "TS" Maghary. The guitarist/vocalist has written an epic fantasy novel over the last several years and prior to its release, he's offered us a musical glimpse into the world of his creation. Taking place some 100 years prior to the time line of his fantasy novel, Fate Is Calling introduces us to the characters as well as setting the stage for the ultimate act of revenge by the main character against those who murdered his family. This album is Part 1 of a two part series and takes the listener on a journey using a mix of classic true metal, power metal and epic orchestrated metal. Besides handling the bulk of the lead vocals, Tarek enlists the services of a whole bunch of guest vocalists including James Rivera (Hellstar, ex-Seven Witches), Bryan "Hellroadie" Patrick (Manilla Road), Rob Rock, Sven D'anna (Wizard), Andreas Babuschkin (Paragon), Michael Seifert (Rebellion, Black Destiny), Charly Steinhauer, Jurgen Aumann, Oliver Weinsheiman and female vocalist Johanna Mott (Midnight Symphony). Guest musicians include ex-Manowar legend Ross The Boss as well as others from the German metal scene including the rest of Tarek's Majesty band mates.

After a quick orchestrated intro The Awakening Of Kerodet, the story begins with When Our Troops Unite. Epic and orchestrated, the thematic true metal riffing style really brings the House Of Atreus era of Virgin Steele to mind. The Virgin Steele similarities, not only in the orchestrated epic metal style are also heard in the vocal styles and melodies throughout the album especially with tracks like The killer Final Trial. With piano interludes and a very epic and heavy style, Angel Dust similarities can be heard as well. Guarding The Gate continues with this epic style of metal with it's heart-wrenching power ballad approach. Slower, heavy and orchestrated metal can be found with Awaiting The Night, a track that features some cool phased effects on the very catchy guitar riffs. Faster old-school power metal bombards the listener with tracks like Gift Of Dawn, which also uses de-tuned guitars and passionate vocals to give it a Nevermore type of vibe. This continues with Assassin, another of the more faster and aggressive power metal tracks. Galloping epic true metal is on the table for the title track Dawnrider with some great double bass accents and a solid chorus section that fits the epic fantasy subject matter perfectly. Master Of The Black continues with the galloping metal style mixed with heavier riffing and another killer chorus. The male/female duet style is explored on this album with two tracks namely Fate Is Calling and Parce Is Free. Fate Is Calling has a Nightwish operatic feel with female vocalist Johanna Mott doing her best Tarja impression. Parce Is Free is a galloping and more orchestrated epic and besides some celtic flavours, uses violins and real strings to gently wind down part one of a two part story.

This album is certainly one that requires several listens to in order to really appreciate. Shortcomings in the muddy production and the feeling that there is nothing really new or ground-breaking about all of this almost lead me to toss this album aside as just another epic concept power metal album. After a few listens, I started to really take note of the quality of the song writing that can be found with this album. For the most part, all of the vocalists do their job quite well as do the guest musicians. The only shortcomings are with the feeble Tarja impressions as I mentioned before and a couple of throw away solos that really fail to capture any sort of mood or atmosphere within their respective tracks. The classic 80's metal sound with similarities to Majesty (obviously) early Manowar and Saxon with respect to the guitar sound will always have a soft spot with this "well aged" reviewer and it all helps to capture a more "raw" approach to epic heavy metal as opposed to the ultra slick Rhapsody/Avantasia approach that seems to be the norm these days. With this album, it's a case of the songs actually being better than the some of the performances and production would initially lead one to believe. Like I said earlier, there is nothing new here, just another in a long line of epic concept power metal albums except that this one is actually very good. It may take a few spins to get into this disc but for those who like this sort of epic fantasy metal, this one's worth it.

Check out the track They Conquered

Killing Songs :
Where Our Troops Unite, The Final Trial, They Conquered, Guarding The Gate, Dawnrider and Master Of The Black
Marty quoted 82 / 100
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