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Dawn of Destiny - F.E.A.R

Dawn of Destiny – CD Review






CD Info
Phonotraxx Publishing
13 Tracks
English Lyrics

Long have five-piece German power metalers, Dawn of Destiny, been one of my absolute favourite bands. In fact, on my Last.fm page, they are second only in plays to Nightwish. I have said on this site before in previous reviews I've done of their music that I think it's a crime that Dawn of Destiny has not been picked up by a major label, because they are one of the most talented bands in the genre, and their songwriting, spearheaded by bassist Jens Faber, is flawless. In F.E.A.R., the band's fifth album and second with vocalist Jeanette Scherff, Jens once again accomplishes brilliance while taking the band into new territory – proggier territory, complete with a concept that has all the elements of great storytelling and attention to detail in it.

F.E.A.R. stands for Forgotten, Enslaved, Admired, Released, and it tells the story of young wheelchair-bound Eve who is unceremoniously dumped by her father at some kind of orphanage or children's home, where she is left, confused and understandably upset, to languish. “Forgotten” is Act I, and it gives the details of the abandonment and it's consequences. Act II is “Enslaved”, and it takes place when Eve is a bit older and suffers a brutal sexual assault in the woods one day by two men. Act III tells us of Eve's relationship with a young admirer named Ben, who lived near Eve's home and has had a crush on her since he first spied her there years ago. Ben helps her heal with his compassion and his unconditional love, and the two marry young. In the final act, Ben gets a devastating medical diagnosis that has tragic consequences, and the couple suffers through great loss.

It's a heavy story, dealing with subjects like fate and our ability or inability to escape it, suffering, abandonment, the pain of loss, betrayal, and grief. There is an awful lot going on in this CD you could make a mini series out of it. I fully recommend that when you buy this album, you make sure to get a hard copy with the accompanying booklet because you'll need it to get the story straight.

That might put some people off; many listeners want a less challenging hour of entertainment from their CDs. I actually love this kind of literary approach and storytelling in my music, so this was right up my alley. I thoroughly enjoy reading along in the booklet to the music and I found F.E.A.R. to be a very satisfying listen because of that.

Musically, this is one of Jen's best works start to finish. As I mentioned earlier in this review, he takes the band in a more progressive direction, while keeping the band's power metal roots in tact. Gone is the previous thrashiness of Dawn of Destiny's earlier works, and I think this is a great evolution for a group who's quality of work has always been top notch.

We still have the speed and bombast fans of Dawn of Destiny have come to expect, but the album is also far more melodic than their previous efforts. Keyboardist Dirk Raczkiewicz is more prominent than ever before and he does a great job. I have always wanted more keys from these guys and I totally got that this time around. As I have come to expect – and respect – guitarist Veith Offenbächer acquits himself very well with his usual deft handling of complex material.

Lead vocalist Jeanette Scherff sounds stronger and more powerful on this album than she did on the previous album, Praying to the World, which was her first with the band. It seems to me she has definitely been hard at work on her range and technique between the two releases and it really shows.

F.E.A.R. features two well-known guest vocalists, to boot. Swedish singer Mats Levén, formerly of Therion plus all kinds of other bands he's collaborated with over his long career (Candlemass and Yngwie Malmsteen to name a few) sings the part of Eve's father in the opening track, “And With Silence Comes The Fear”. Jon Oliva (Savatage, Trans Siberian Orchestra) is the other guest; he plays Eve's torturer in “No Hope For The Healing.”

Once again, Dawn of Destiny does it! All the components of this album are strongly and deftly performed by a band with enormous talent and potential. Again, I scratch my head at why they have not been picked up by a major label; it confounds me. F.E.A.R. is a wholly satisfying and accomplished work, and I hope it gets the appreciation it deserves.