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Sacred Dawn: Gears Of The Machine
Heavy/Power/Progressive Metal
Rating: 4.0/5.0

Sacred Dawn is an American metal band from Aurora, Illinois. 'Gears Of The Machine ... A New Beginning is their debut album, and it's a pretty good one at that. Sacred Dawn attempts to meld classic heavy and power with some progressive spice. Generally, throughout 'Gears' they accomplish their goal quite well. They do this by blending the compositions with some tasty guitar work, unusually pleasing vocal arrangements, and mixed tempos.

'Gear's begins strong with '(Worlds Apart) The Desire' where the opening is articulate and playfully deceiving as the song soon rips into some great metal. Much the same occurs on 'Hatred' which has a subtle progressive arrangement throughout, but also erupts into some strong metal. Another interesting quality of Sacred Dawn is Lothar Keller's vocals. At times he sounds ordinary and dull, but then surprises you with his versatility on a song like 'Walls Of Jericho' or 'White Road, Black Sun.' The former song is an excellent and heavier piece of heavy metal with fine vocal arrangements. A positively great track on the album is 'Soldier's Plea' where heavy and prog metal blend fluidly. 'Shadows' is pure melodic metal that often reminds of melodic hard rock. The aforementioned 'White Road, Black Sun' definitely accomplishes Sacred Dawn's goal of mixing classic power metal with prog sensibility. To conclude with something totally 'out there,' Sacred Dawn covers Charlie Daniels' 'The Devil Went Down To Georgia.' I know metal has been mixed with country, but this is way 'over-the-top.' I didn't know whether to laugh or frown: call it unique. The best part about the song is Keller's enthusiastic vocals.

There were a few dull moments on the album. 'Approval' did not meet with my approval: basic heavy metal, a slow and mundane piece. The same could be said for 'Asmodeus' where the arrangement tries to be progressive, but ultimately drones into repetitiveness. It's redeemed about four minutes into the song with a significant change that brings some great guitar work and vocals that rush to a fine conclusion.

Overall, I found 'Gears Of The Machine' to be a sound and terrific beginning for Sacred Dawn. Although there were a few down moments for me on the work, it still proved to be strong heavy metal. Sacred Dawn should commended for their talent and imagination. They're on to something good here, so future work should be promising recommended.
- Craig Hartranft

In Short

Sacred Dawn, from Illinois, delivers some very well constructed heavy and power metal with progressive notes. They show impressive talent for a young band on a debut album. Sacred Dawn is on to something good and should be received well for their desire and innovation.

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