Anarchist black metal trio DAWN RAY’D have today released their new album, To Know The Light, via Prosthetic Records. In celebration of the release of their third full length, DAWN RAY’D will be performing tonight at Lexington in London, UK as part of To Know The Light’s UK headline tour – more dates and info below.
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Speaking on To Know The Light‘s release, DAWN RAY’D comments: “We have made it to release day! These 10 songs document our personal journey through anarcho-nihilism, from despair to finding joy in resistance, to defending light and love by any means, to finding new reasons to refuse to give up in this ever darkening world. And it means nothing if we don’t share it with others. If you still sing then we’ll still sing.”
To Know The Light is a departure from their previous missives in more ways than one. Although still overtly political, the lyrics take on a more personal slant than before. Lyrically, To Know The Light traces the band’s own journey through anarcho-nihilism; from anger, to despair, to a radical acceptance of the darkness all around us, settling on a new understanding of liberation and joy. Whilst much of the thematic content is rooted in rage and resistance, there are also elements of positivity to be found throughout.
Recorded at the Station House in Leeds, in what can arguably be described as an appropriate repurposing of an old police house, and Mynetaur Studios with production by Mark Mynett (Rotting Christ, My Dying Bride) and additional engineering by James Atkinson. DAWN RAY’D have crafted an album high on production values with clean vocals, rich layering and many melodic passages of majestic theatricality, all without compromising intensity.
DAWN RAY’D define folk music as a way to document the injuries, abuses and real-life stories of working class people; a way to disseminate information that would otherwise not be accessible. Sonically speaking, too, they incorporate elements of traditional folk music into their music – notably within the harmonies and layers on tracks such as Requital and Freedom in Retrograde.
Citing influences as genre-diverse as Chumbawumba, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Propagandhi, Lankum, and Crass, it is evident that the message is still as important as the music. The thread that runs through all these bands – and many others – is one that allows for creative expression around common themes of class struggle, freedom and resistance. Much of the lyrical content is poetic in structure and delivery, but never at the expense of straightforward language when necessary. The album’s cover continues this theme of directness, featuring a photograph taken in France by Remi Moon, with additional artwork and layout by Ethan McCarthy. The image features a silhouetted figure in front of a fire at a protest.
Consider this an invitation to disregard preconceptions about DAWN RAY’D and the genre(s) within which they reside. Consider To Know The Light as not just a rallying cry but a sincere offering of a new way of looking at the world.
Praise for To Know The Light:
“This is folk metal at its best and most true: metal for the people…” – Decibel (Album of the Week)
“This flame won’t be extinguished any time soon.” – Kerrang!
“…their most fully realised album to date” – Metal Hammer (issue 372)
“To Know The Light is in fact a real Molotov cocktail…” – Metal Italia
To Know The Light tracklist:
1. The Battle of Sudden Flame
2. Ancient Light
5. Sepulchre (Don’t Vote)
6. Cruel Optimism
7. In the Shadow of the Past
8. Freedom in Retrograde
9. Wild Fire
10. Go As Free Companions
DAWN RAY’D is:
Simon Barr – Vocals, violin, synths
Fabian Devlin – Guitars, vocals
Matthew Broadley – Drums and percussion, harmonium, piano
Remaining To Know the Light UK release tour dates:
March 24 – Lexington – London, UK
March 25 – Scruffy Murphys – Birmingham, UK
March 26 – Victoria Inn – Derby, UK