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Dawn of Destiny - To Hell

Dawn of Destiny - CD Review:
To Hell

 To Hell


CD Info
Phonotraxx Publishing
13 Tracks
English Lyrics


This must be the third review I've written for Sonic Cathedral about a Dawn of Destiny CD, and I have previously made no bones about the fact that this is my number two band next to Nightwish. I have also stated more than once that it is absolutely criminally shameful that this power metal band, hailing from Bochum, Germany, does not have a deal with a big record label. For nearly a decade now, this hard working group has produced, in my humble opinion, some of the best music this genre has to offer, and their latest release and sixth album, To Hell, is no exception.

Following their previous release, F.E.A.R., a concept album with a lot of progressive influences, the release of To Hell last fall saw a return to the concept album for Dawn of Destiny. This time, the story revolves around a newly married couple on a honeymoon cruise. Mary and Tim are generally having a great time, until, surprise, someone sinister shows up and reveals a dark secret from Mary's past, and extracts a brutal revenge. Jens Faber, the band's composer, lyricist, and bassist, came up with one doozy of a storyline that contains a gamut of human emotions that will definitely tug on your heart strings. I am not going to give anything away, but just buy the album - you'll need the booklet for sure to follow along - and see for yourself.

Musically, this is probably the fastest and catchiest album Dawn of Destiny has put out since my favourite release of theirs, Rebellion in Heaven. The music gallops along at a great pace and contains the signature catchy choruses, fast and fancy finger work by the guitarist, and melodic components provided by keyboardist Dirk Raczkiewicz. The band has seen a line-up change or two with this album; long-time guitarist Veith Offenbacher left the band last year, but still provides some solos on the album, but for the bulk of the songs, the jack of all trades, Jens, takes the helm with the guitar playing. Since the release, however, Felix Rodermund has taken over the guitar position. A new drummer also has come into play, Phillipp Bock.

This album also has a couple of guest vocalists to add to the mix of characters in the story. Bjorn "Speed" Strid of Soilwork fame appears in track seven, "Burn in the Fire," and Zak Stevens, whom you might know from Savatage, guests on track eight, "Only the Ocean Knows."

There is a lot to like about To Hell. As I mentioned, it's fast and catchy and has a great story. It also has a lot of elements in it that make Dawn of Destiny a band to watch out for. They have a wickedly powerful vocalist in Jeanette Scherff, who only gets better and better with every release (this is her third album with the band) and she is very impressive in this CD. If you need any proof of her chops, just listen to "Fire", one of my favourite tracks on the album, where she shows her belting prowess and her ability to pull of rapid, complex vocal lines. Jens also provides both clean vocals and growls, and he is playing a bigger role in recent albums including this one, which is a real strength of the band's. This is one amazing vocal duo. Additionally, the keys on this album take on a bit of a different tone, mixing in new sounds. For instance, the intro to the first track, "Hide Our Sorrow", the keys provide a kind of classical element with a harpsichord-like sound. I liked this intro a lot because it created a darkness that set the tone for the album, and as I have said in other reviews, that initial intro and first track are so key in setting up the feel, theme, and atmosphere of an album. "From Paradise", track three, also has a kind of classical-sounding intro, and some other fabulous synth work by Dirk that make this one of the outstanding tracks on the release.

My favourite songs on To Hell are the aforementioned "Fire", the title track "To Hell", and "Hateful Heart," a slower-paced song with lots of emotion. But really, this album contains no filler or weak tracks as far as I'm concerned; the story is tight and the compositions are exemplary.

Of course I need a trip to Germany so I can see these guys play - they are on my bucket list, and have been since I started following them in 2007. Recently, they have had the privilege of opening for such acts as Xandria and Rage. They even have an official video you can watch on YouTube - check out the video for "To Hell" here. I hope this excellent band of talented musicians has many more successes to come.