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Album Review: MOUTH OF THE ARCHITECT Dawning

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Mouth of the Architect are sticking to their guns on Dawning with some seriously quality post-metal that presents itself naturally and without any bells and whistles. Dawning is a no-frills outing that seeks to solidify the band's position as one of the better post-metal acts out there, and does so quite well. Think of this as more of a crossover between the band's 2008 atmospheric record Quietly and the aggression presented by the band on their first two records.

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Any genre that carries the prefix "post" is usually pretty hard to do correctly. There has to be that precise writing that strikes the balance between atmosphere and  substance just perfectly enough to keep the listener interested, yet drive the music to the intended destinations with a sense of purpose. Fortunately, Mouth of the Architect seemed to be pretty aware of that whilst writing Dawning and really took their sound to another level. For instance, look at the opening track "Lullaby": it builds and builds and builds with a sense of purpose, carefully adding layers to the monstrosity, only to drop out to a clean guitar and vocals. The drop only lasts a moment though before the band blindside you with a loud explosion of what can only be described as "beautiful and uplifting metal"… prepare yourself for it; it scared the living hell out of me the first time I heard it, which is an attribution to the amazing dynamics the record portrays.

Keeping true with band's overall sound through their existence, Dawning presents an extremely natural sound on this record in a different way then they did on 2008's Quietly. Quietly took a much more "in your face natural" approach to their sound, while Dawning makes it sound like you're listening to the band play in a pretty large hall, opening up their sound to be much larger and less claustrophobic than Quietly was. It's fitting for a record that takes you through peaks and valleys of emotions, uplifting you and crushing you on a journey that ends beautifully. The closer "The Other Son" could have easily passed for a Godspeed You! Black Emperor song if there weren't any vocals, in that it's like seeing the sun for the first time after being underground for years and years. Combine that feeling with the massive production of the album and it's simply divine.

Dawning needs to be put on at full volume in a dark room and concentrated on; felt. Mouth of the Architect disappeared for five years to get this one right, and they did so well.

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