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Before the Dawn

The Ghost

(Locomotive; US: 27 Jun 2006)

Death metal isn’t really my cup of tea, but if it’s done properly, it can even cause some minor, occasional, sporadic head-banging on my part. European band Before the Dawn have a thick, meaty and not too brooding sound judging by “Disappear”, which is, despite the heavy sound, quite melodic. The quartet seems to blend new metal with classic metal influences as drummer Dani Miettinen works overtime on the tune. Equally impressive is the full throttle approach to “Repentance” that sounds like a cross between Maiden and Priest (Iron and Judas, respectively) thanks to the work of guitarist Panu Willman. Meanwhile, there is a metal-meets-punk quality to “Fade Away” which seems to mesh quite well even if the lead singer has a voice that would scare little children. The term relentless comes to mind during “Scar” that has the band going over-the-top. Yet Before the Dawn get back on track with a lean, no-nonsense rocker called “Black Dawn” that grows on you like a Foo Fighters tune. The homestretch is a tad more rock than metal with “Stormbringer” and the quasi-epic “...Nowhere”.


Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide,,, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for

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