Manchester-based EBM-Industrial darlings Blind Before Dawn are unquestionably one of the hardest working bands in this scene. This disk chronicles the first ten years of that hard work and BBD’s best tracks since they came to be, and it is certainly something that they can be very proud of.
Opening with the soulful ‘Drown,’ a track packed full of rock and bleeps, it’s all very cyberpunk and surprisingly catchy. This one is certainly less dance-orientated than most fans have become used to, but the focus on guitars is most welcome here. ‘Face in the Crowd’ is dark and seductive and Davi’s hypnotic vocals and personal lyrics work in tandem with some blistering guitars for a song that no doubt rocks when it’s given a festival-sized audience. If you crossed the epic qualities of VNV with the rock sensibilities of Zeromancer, it would sound a little bit like this.
‘United for a Day’ is a genre-defying effort that mixes cultural influences with soft instrumentation and a sensitive tone for what can only be termed as a truly beautiful track that’s easily accessible and something that many listeners will identify with. ‘Futurist’ and its sophisticated synthpop will remind of a softer Apoptygma Berzerk, but again the lyrics are what really make this track powerful. It’s a very clever look toward the future, and BBD are putting their best foot forward to get ready and become a name synonymous with great UK Industrial music before then. ‘Strangers’ takes a similar approach mixing introspective vocals and 80s synths ala’ New Order with a metallic guitar sheen to create a moving and addictive pop track. ‘Samui’ works on all the senses, with unrelenting synths winding neatly between bussaw guitars and raw vocal qualities, this is without a doubt our live anthem for BBD. The ‘Far Away (close mix)’ is again incredibly personal, and it works very well as a part of this collection. It has always been a favourite.
‘Breaking The Haloes’ keeps up the darkwave and EBM theme of the collection with a slow and emotive track. However, for ‘Echelon’ the pace and tone changes drastically, this is almost an Industrial rock tune. It’s got all the essential parts to cater for a bit of head bangin’ alongside some serious glowstick flailing…nice. ‘One Bullet’ is equally heavy and diverse. It is somewhat haunting in its delivery and it could very well be the complete Goth-rock package, and it is a definite standout appealing to fans of Industrial, darkwave, Goth and rock. The last one on ‘Regress..’ is the ballad-esque ‘In Deinen Augen’ [Ed’s note: In Your Eyes] which takes equal influence from The Cure and Depeche Mode in the way that the guitars and electronics are used respectively and it’s a fashionably melancholic way to end the album before some solid remixes. The ‘Breaking The Haloes (To 11 mix)’ actually rivals the original in terms of its addictive qualities and certainly in terms of the impact that it will have on your ears. This mix is built for the dancefloor and it will damn sure rock your stripy socks right off. Similarly, the Rezumaki mix of ‘Strangers’ works as a fitting conclusion to this great collection.
Blind Before Dawn have been one of the most exciting acts to come out of the North over the last few years, and with this they should receive the exposure that they deserve.
For more information visit the band’s Myspace.
(photo by Andrew Stone: Stonegraphica Photography)