Longing for Dawn A Treacherous Ascension

Funeral doom is an easy style to botch — not everybody has it in them to construct ten-minute-plus songs that have either replay value or effectively convey the genre’s expected levels of despair. Montreal’s Longing For Dawn take a different approach — their artful, elaborately layered pulse has more in common with Jesu or certain strains of dark ambient music than the usual suspects (Thergothon, Skepticism, etc.). That’s not to say there is any shortage of mournful chords, drawn-out transitions or lethargic vocal patterns, they’re just so convincingly employed and saturated with emotion that they barely seem rehashed or predictable. The unique approach taken by the keyboards and effects is a point in their favour as well — no melodramatic church organs or anything of the sort here. Instead, the synths convey a much more epic, near-apocalyptic ambience. Less depressive than they are hypnotic, and more invigorating than many bands playing at ten times the speed, Longing for Dawn are the Montreal metal act to watch. The year is off to an exceptional start already. (Grau)