DAWN OF A DARK AGE – The Six Elements, Vol.4 Air


Origin: Italy
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal Avant-garde Metal Black Metal Experimental Folk Black Metal
Label: Self Released
Year: 2016

Dawn of a Dark Age is a very interesting band that has managed to release 4 quality albums in a very short period of time. It is the personal project of the multi-instrumentalist Vittorio Sabelli from Italy, who has been active like composer, saxophonist and clarinetist in the classical, jazz and avant-garde scene for over 15 years. In 2010 he formed the Pink Floyd anti-tribute prog jazz metal group R-Evolution Band. In 2014 he decided to share his personal eclectic approach on black metal music, thus Dawn of a Dark Age was born! 

The Six Elements” is an ambitious six-chapter saga about the natural elements (5 elements plus one) that will be completed after 6 albums, each one with 6 songs and each one scheduled for release six months after the previous one. It all began on July 1st 2014 with “Vol.1 Earth“, followed on January 1st 2015 by “Vol.2 Water“, on July 1st 2015 by “Vol.3 Fire” and on January 1st 2016 by “Vol.4 Air“. Despite the short period of time between the albums, the improvement in each release is obvious. For me “Air” is their best work so far and I even can’t imagine the next volumes being better! The participation of Dieso ‘Aeternus’ Tasciotti (Handful of Hate) on drums and especially of Lys (Enisum) on vocals turned out perfect choices…

The Six Elements, Vol.4 Air” opens with a short atmospheric intro, before the first main composition “Argon van Beethoven (1%)” begins. The song starts as an old-school “Darkthrone influenced” black metal piece with very melodic riffs and a unique melancholic atmosphere. Soon Vittorio’s acoustic instruments take the lead, adding a brilliant nostalgic avant-garde jazzy and folk aesthetic to the whole result, simply amazing and indescribable! I could never imagine how well clarinet and saxophone could blend with raw black metal. And these instruments are not added just to be added or to “make noise”, on the contrary they are as melodic as possible and often of a very virtuosic nature, still fitting perfectly with the metal orchestrations! You have to listen to it to believe it. Of course the tempo of the compositions is often slower and there are several more quiet passages, but the orchestrations always retain their underground raw black metal sound. The third song “Children of the Wind” has a more atmospheric approach, with a magical instrumental passage, where Vittorio offers pure audible pleasure for the ears and the soul! The combination of these unique jazz avant-garde and classical music influenced interludes with the raw yet melodic black metal outbursts and Lys’ haunting screaming vocals is out of this world! It just leaves me with a stupid smile in my face… ”Children of the Wind” is my favorite song of the album and together with ”Argon van Beethoven (1%)” they are in my opinion the 2 best compositions of the band! The next track “Darkthrone in the Sky” is an unusual tribute to Darkthrone. It is a slow melancholic atmospheric black metal song, whose complete lyrics are composed only by Darkthone album titles! The fifth song, entitled “Jukai“, is another fine example of Dawn of a Dark Ages’ unique avant-garde jazz black metal music and the perfect way to close this album, before the short acoustic outro… Except for the Darkthrone tribute, all other lyrics are nature related and more specifically they are dealing with air and wind themes, as this volume’s title suggests…

Dawn of a Dark Age is a very special and different band that totally deserves the attention of fans of experimental black metal. The combination of raw black metal with instruments like clarinet and saxophone and with a jazz, avant-garde and at times folk mood isn’t for everyone. But if you manage to decode this album, the result is much more that rewarding. I believe “The Six Elements, Vol.4 Air” is the most complete and solid work of the band and I am really looking forward for the next album, which is a little delayed compared to the initial time schedule. ”Vol.4 Air” is self-released in a limited to 99 copies jewel-case CD edition, with a 4 page booklet, including all the lyrics. You better follow the links below and visit the band’s official pages to listen to its unique music.


Rating:  (9,5/10)

Dawn of a Dark Age @ Facebook
Dawn of a Dark Age @ Bandcamp


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