I love to find an album that satisfies a need (not that kind of need; I have other avenues for that). I wanted heavy music that is complex, melodic, eclectic, epic and exhilarating. I found it all in the form of Borean Dusk.
Who is this band?
Well, let me sum up what I've read about them in their website.
They formed in 2008, in Bridgeton, Missouri, as a foursome of musicians, opting to not include a vocalist, as they felt their music's attributes would suffer from such a move. They were right. Their music alone holds my interest and is a highly entertaining listen as it is without need for vocals.
The band consists of:
- Jeff Burnett / bass, Irish bouzouki, octave mandolin
- Gunnar Swensen / drums and percussion
- Tom Taylor / electric and classical guitar
- John Hardin / electric and acoustic guitar
The band released their first album, self-titled, in September 2010, with a stunning cover art work. They cite Iron Maiden, Mastodon Jethro Tull and traditional European Folk as their influences (that last one is pretty broad an influence, but you may narrow it down once you hear their music).
Here's how they describe their music:
"Soul-smiting heaviness, exotically-composed progressions, intricate passages that range from the neo-celtic to the “Egyptian-esque”—these are just a few elements bubbling in the Dusken cauldron, elements that evoke the spirit and savagery of ancient battlefields, doom-blasted deserts, hoary tundra thundering with the ghosts of primeval gods. This music is a soundtrack to the feral and phantasmagoric visions swirling in any headbanger’s skull."
The album boasts raw energy alongside classic-sounding heavy metal infused with folk elements. These are part of the music's appeal and power. It does indeed feel like listening to an 80s heavy metal album at times, in both style and recording sound. Some might find this deterring and to each his own flavour, but I don't have an issue with that. This is not a polished and slick sounding modern metal album. It is raw and powerful, honest and ambitious. One can hear the influences of Iron Maiden as the band themselves state, particularly in some places (such as in Wolf-Totem). Yet as I hear it, they start with their influences and then move forward from that basis.
Bottom line for me, it is unadulterated fun to listen to this album.
I think they will improve on their next record and progress from this impressive starting point.
Read my friend's review (The Klepto) here.