Purple Dawn Premiere “Into the Shadowland”; Peace & Doom Session Vol. 1 out Dec. 18

Posted in audiObelisk on December 10th, 2020 by JJ Koczan


Cologne, Germany, trio  Purple Dawn will release their debut full-length, Peace & Doom Session Vol. 1, on Dec. 18 through Ogorekords. The album pushes the limits of manageability at 58 minutes, but its time is put to varied use, with the record essentially breaking into two sections between its first five tracks and the final three. These are listed as A/B sides in the tracklisting, but I’m not sure how you might fit the 34-minute stretch between “Intro/Goatthrower I” and “Goatthrower II” onto a single 12″ side, but it’s a tape, so there’s no science-magic involved — oh, they’ve shunted the excess time through the tertiary plasma conduits and fed the bleed out through reversed-flow bussard collectors, ejecting it harmlessly into space! — unless you count the whole tiny-magnetic-strip-that-reproduces-sounds thing. Which I kind of do.

Either way, the first words one hears on the release, indeed, are the shouted “Goat-thrower!,” which may or may not be a play on Conan‘s “Bolt Thrower.” While we’re making assumptions, let’s figure that no goats were actually harmed during the writing or recording process of Peace & Doom Session — throwing goats would hardly be peaceful — and that instead the band are just having fun with dopey stoner tropes. More importantly, the three-piece of bassist/vocalist Patrick Rose, guitarist Timo Fritz and drummer Florian Geiling over prime, hard-hitting doom rock on the subsequent “Utopia/Dystopia,” the extra-raw vibe of a rehearsal recording sounding like it’d have fit perfectly in Maryland circa ’96 with backing from Hellhound Records. “Utopia/Dystopia” breaks into a spoken introduction saying hello to the world and thanks for watching what must’ve been the live stream from their rehearsal room from which these tracks are culled, and following another verse, an extended solo leads the way past the 10-minute track’s halfway mark, slowing down as presumably u- turns to dys- as regards -topias, but picking up speed once again near the finish to bring it all together.

It’s a lot to dig through, but beneath the rudimentary feel is solid songwriting and performance, and that continues throughout “The Greed” and the nine-plus-minute “Atlantis,” which is the only cut to appear on both ‘sides’ of the outing. That gives an even better comparison point for how Purple Dawn come across in a raw vs. sharper studio context, as the last three tracks — “Into the Shadowland,” “Verwunschen” and “Atlantis” — are more proper, traditional album-style recordings. One could make the argument that the band might’ve been better served by swapping the A/B of Peace & Doom Session and leading off with what here follows the rehearsal-room gig, but the way “Goatthrower II” and “Atlantis” and “Utopia/Dystopia” hit is hard and engaging on its own bootleg-ish level. And backed up by the cleaner-sounding material, the early going brings to mind what it might be like to see the band live; something both encouraging in the actual listening experience and poignant in concept. Plus, consider “demo tape.” There you go.

They are, on both sides, an engaging newcomer group obviously looking to show listeners what they’re all about. As you stream “Into the Shadowland” below ahead of the arrival of Peace & Doom Session Vol. 1, the vocals come through pretty prominently through my speakers, but that’s less the case on the studio version of “Atlantis,” so it might just be me. The band also offer more breadth in the instrumental “Verwunschen” between the two more straightforward cuts, so there’s very clearly even more to the story than this substantial initial offering is letting on.

All the same, enjoy the track. More background follows:

Purple Dawn
Peace & Doom Session Vol. 1
Ogorekords, 2020 (OR01)

Purple Dawn is a three-piece heavy rock/doom band from Cologne/Germany. The band was formed in 2019 by Timo Fritz (guitar), Patrick Rose (bass & vocals) and Florian Geiling (Drums).

The Peace & Doom Session is their first physical release and is split in two parts. The A-Side contains the complete Peace & Doom Session that was recorded live in the band’s rehearsal room in Cologne. These five tracks show a band that seems to play together for years already, delivering a fine modern blend of everything we love about heavy rock music. Their songs are mostly around the 6 minute mark (some shorter, some longer) and even though it’s all about the riff in this kind of music they don’t feel long at all due to their approach to keep things interesting with interludes and little lead-licks.

Patrick’s rough, yet melodic vocals fit in perfectly. The music itself gets enough room to unfold in every song creating the mood for the vocals when they come in. The B-Side contains three studio tracks and opens up with ‘Into the Shadowland’. After a slow and crushing start the song gets a bit faster with great melodic vocals and some really well-played guitar solos before it falls back into slower speed and the guitar-work leads us deep into the shadowlands. ‘Verwunschen’ is the only instrumental track on this release and also the only track without distorted guitars. The absence of vocals and (most of the time) drums is filled by psychedelic guitar layers. A surprisingly calm yet very well-fitting song between all the heaviness.

The closing track ‘Atlantis’ is also featured on the A-Side as a live track, the studio-version is just slightly longer and of course a little less rough.

Tracklist A-Side:
02. Utopia / Dystopia
03. The Greed
04. Atlantis

Tracklist B-Side:
01. Into the Shadowland
02. Verwunschen
03. Atlantis

The tape will be released on December 18th via Ogorekords.

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