|Review: Arduini/Balich - Dawn of Ages|
|Dawn of Ages|
Label: Cruz Del Sur Music
Year released: 2017
Genre: Doom Metal
Review online: April 14, 2017
Reviewed by: MetalMike
for:Dawn of Ages
Dawn of Ages is the fruit of a collaboration between founding Fates Warning guitarist Victor Arduini and Argus vocalist Paul Balich. The band is aptly named Arduini/Balich and came about after Victor realized his musical aspirations weren't being realized in his previous band Freedoms Reign. If you've heard Freedoms Reign then listen to Dawn of Ages, you'll immediately understand why it was the right decision for Victor to move on.
The music on Dawn of Ages has a pronounced Doom vibe with a clear Black Sabbath influence that can be heard on the bludgeoning opening riff of "Into Exile" and the ethereal guitar work of "The Wraith." Arduini's guitar work is superb and the tone he achieves is downright menacing though he doesn't limit the atmosphere to pure Doom as the change to a major key at the end of "Beyond the Barricade" can attest. As for Balich, he gets to cover familiar ground as Dawn of Ages is not unlike Argus in style. He delivers an outstanding performance as though working with different musicians has energized him. He's able to wring more emotion from his vocals bringing the appropriate weight to the somber lyrics. I particularly like the final chorus of "Final Fade" where Balich does just that as he holds his last note for several seconds. Dawn of Ages is long, clocking in at just over an hour and that's not counting the three cover tracks included as bonus material. Long albums generally annoy me but Dawn of Ages has such complex and at the same time engaging songwriting I never get bored, but I will admit the whole package is a load. An awesome load.
I'm thoroughly impressed with Dawn of Ages and fervently hope it is not the last we will hear from the Arduini/Balich partnership. Fans of Black Sabbath, While Heaven Wept, Atlantean Kodex and all True/Doom Metal must check this one out. I have a spot on my 2017 Top 10 list already reserved, the only question that remains is: will anything top Dawn of Ages?
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