Throes of Dawn – Our Voices Shall Remain (Argonauta Records)Sunday, 31st July 2016
There are plastic entities otherwise known as compact discs that sit behind this scribe while he writes his nonsensical drivel. There are roughly 2,000 of them, the product of many years of mail-order binging, record store adventures, and the bygone era of when record labels used to send journalists CDs for free. (R.I.P. cardboard promos as well.) In this collection sits two Throes of Dawn albums: Binding of the Spirit and Quicksilver Clouds. Yours truly can’t figure out why and how they came into my possession; they were probably purchased. And justifiably so, perhaps the same should apply for Our Voices Shall Remain, for it is a winner.
Once a melodic black metal band with atmospheric touches, Throes of Dawn (who are Finnish) are decidedly now just an atmospheric rock/metal band; perhaps a more muscular, less emotive Anathema. But the main line can be drawn to Pink Floyd, whose influence is all over Our Voices Shall Remain. The manner in which TOD builds refrains, textures their keyboards, and drops in solos is very Floyd-esque. Prime examples would include “We Used to Speak in Colors,” which temporarily crosses into Syd Barrett territory, only to field a lovely, flowing solo that would make Gilmour proud.
Yet, it’s the superfluous keys on “The Understanding” and Henri Koivula’s sterling vocal performance on “One of Us is Missing” that brings Our Voices Shall Remain home, resulting in a contemplative, almost blissful offering that is less prog and more about the Finns’ uncanny ability to produce sonorous, graceful songs. Certainly a wild card band within atmospheric metal circles, Throes of Dawn deserve a good, long look with Our Voices Shall Remain.