Back in 2018, there was a little “Hey! Listen to This!” post from Jordan about Dawnwalker. I call it “little” to contrast the larger story of the blog’s relationship with the band; multiple writers and editors, my humble self among them, have since fallen in love with Dawnwalker’s self-described “green metal”. Their ability to effortlessly weave emotional music, drawing equally from sounds like black metal, post-rock, and folk music is the underpinning of our relationship with the band. Put simply, most bands who choose monikers like “green metal” for themselves end up just sounding generic, with some aesthetic thrown over the music to justify the mini-genre. But in Dawnwalker’s case, the description goes deeper than that, channeling the power and expansiveness of nature in a way which deserves its own name.
On the track we are proud to premiere here today, “The Wheel”, this is true than ever. The first five minutes of the track represent the kind of dreamy, progressive side of things that has always been at the base of Dawnkwalker’s side. Perhaps echoing the cover of the album from which this track comes to us (Ages, out December 4th), this first minutes feel more cavernous and oceanic than before. That first part of the track ends with a cataclysmic shift into black metal, vocals first leading their way in the track’s turn from enchanting to abrasive.
Of course, those more echoey, melodic sounds return to accompany the black metal as it goes, creating that blend for which we first fell in love wit the band. It all comes to a head, like waves crashing on to each other, a few minutes later, setting up a morose and melancholic bridge before the blast-beats, fast riffs, and harsh vocals return for what is perhaps Dawnwalker’s heaviest segment ever. This segment serves as the outro for the track, ushering it away into the rest of the album. Long story short, “The Wheel” is one hell of a ride, clocking in at just over seven minutes, and a promising first sound from Ages. Make sure you head on over to the band’s Bandcamp to pre-order the release; they are self-released and need all of our support.