Before The Dawn - 4:17 am
Locomotive Music
Gothic Metal with Melodeath influences
10 songs (46:48)
Release year: 2004
Before The Dawn, Locomotive Music
Reviewed by Khelek
Archive review

I was not overly impressed with Before The Dawn's debut album My Darkness. However the band did show potential so I decided to check out their sophomore release, 4:17 am. This album has a somewhat different sound, focusing more on atmosphere this time with Panu Willman showing off more of his vocal abilities and band leader Tuomas Saukkonen stepping the guitar work up a bit. The death growls are also still a big part of the sound, and they provide a nice contrast to Willman's clean singing. This album is definitely a bit more gothic than the previous one, and bears an even closer resemblance to other doom/gothic metal acts such as Rapture and While Heaven Wept.

The first half of the album focuses on big atmospheres created with massive, downtuned guitar riffs and death metal inspired vocals. Dreamer is one of my favorites, I really like the depressive atmosphere, yet it stays energetic. This song definitely reminds me a bit of Insomnium, another band that knows how to create big, dark soundscapes. This is followed by Fade Away, a song that starts off centered on the clean voice of Willman, which is pretty good. I really like his style, though I wish he would take more chances with it. In some songs you can hear that he probably has a more extensive range than he utilizes.

The second half of the album is a bit softer, focusing more on clean vocals than huge riffs. Into You uses some interesting vocal arrangements and is definitely one of the more memorable songs from the album. My Room follows this with more focus on the clean vocals of Willman. This is another great use of atmosphere, created with clean guitar work along with some synthesizers and drums. The heavy riffs eventually come in, furthering the deep melancholy atmosphere. The songs on this album definitely get a bit more complex than on the previous one. Once again the song structures are pretty basic though.

This is not a bad album, but once again it's simply not that original. Other bands have done this before, and more creatively. That being said, this album is definitely a step up from the band's first one. The songs tend to be more memorable and listening to the album as a whole is a positive experience. I listened to this while driving to work in the rain one day and I felt like it fit the atmosphere quite well. Hopefully the band will spice things up in their later releases, but this album is good enough for me to want to check them out again. However it's not so good that I would recommend it to anyone besides those who really enjoy gothic metal with lots of melody and this style of mixed clean and growled vocals.

Killing Songs :
Dreamer, Into You, My Room
Khelek quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Before The Dawn that we have reviewed:
Before The Dawn - The Ghost reviewed by Khelek and quoted 79 / 100
Before The Dawn - My Darkness reviewed by Khelek and quoted 74 / 100
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There are 3 replies to this review. Last one on Tue May 11, 2010 4:11 am
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