4. Clouds Swept Away The Colours
Although the musical preoccupation in the early to mid 90s was the blossoming black metal scene, Norway also managed to produce a bevy of oddball acts, one of which is the often overlooked Beyond Dawn. They started out as a left of center doom metal band, ultimately transforming into an electronics based indie rock act. Considering that sort of musical evolution is hardly unique in Norway (ie: Ulver), the contents of the band's 1994 EP Longing For Scarlet Days shouldn't be terribly shocking.
On the surface, Beyond Dawn appears to be highly influenced by some of the early English doom bands, particularly My Dying Bride. You can also detect some Celtic Frost, especially in the mournful vocals that remind me instantly of Tom Fischer on songs such as "Mesmerized" (from Into the Pandemonium). But by the time "Chaosphere" comes on, it's evident that Beyond Dawn may possibly be just visiting this planet and they're not actually from here. Granted, it's not nearly as weird as later records by this band, but the inclusion of horns and some of the instrumentation of "Clouds Swept Away the Colours" suggest Beyond Dawn had no intentions of being a run of the mill, cookie cutter act. Doom metal at that point tended to be somewhat orthodox, so it's interesting to hear a band willing to color a bit outside the lines so early in their existence.
It should be pointed out that I find Longing For Scarlet Days not to be a great record by any means, but definitely one that shows promise for a much more unique career trajectory than some of their less adventurous peers. At the same time, despite being a short of spectacular, it's considerably more listenable than a lot of what My Dying Bride did in the 90s.
Review by John Chedsey
Review date: 11/2011