Underground Gems: DAWN’s Epic Masterpiece, Slaughtersun (Crown of the Triarchy)

As part of the unending well of magical albums coming out of Sweden, DAWN released what ended up being their final album, Slaughtersun (Crown of the Triarchy).  The sentiment among fans is that DAWN nor this album got their just due with the media or underground scene as a whole.  While the album is not flawless, it is undoubtedly a gem in the pantheon of classic Swedish black/death metal of the 90’s.

The band’s first full-length, Nær sólen gar niþer for evogher, had a cool sound and showed plenty of promise but things did not gel overall.  However, they took things to the next level with a greater singular focus on creating an epic, unrelenting album with 10+ minute songs.  The riffs were much better, sharper, and the sense of urgency that was not omnipresent on on DAWN‘s debut was in full effect.  Maybe it’s the penultimate front cover artwork but Slaughtersun (Crown of the Triarchy) has an ominous atmosphere that is deeply embedded into the album.

There are few album openers that come in like a thundering storm like “The Knell and the World” do.  It is far and away the most poignant track.  The folk influences were intact from their debut as shown on “To Achieve the Ancestral Powers“.  The distinctly Swedish melodies are excellent as demonstrated on the riff that carries “The Aphelion Deserts.”  Keyboards appear here and there to accentuate riffs and create atmosphere.  Amongst the seven tracks, “Stalker’s Blessing,” is probably the weakest as it carries the least momentum.  However, DAWN close it out in blasting style with “Malediction Murder.”

Slaughtersun (Crown of the Triarchy) was out of print for over a decade with the demise of issuing label, Necropolis Records, driving the prices of the CD on ebay.  Century Media Records came to the rescue by re-releasing all of their albums, including a compilation of their early demos entitled The Eternal Forest, on CD and vinyl back in 2014.

Century Media to Release DAWN’s Back Catalogue

Century Media Records has signed a worldwide deal to license the entire discography of Sweden’s DAWN. Formed in 1990, DAWN quickly evolved from the pure death metal found on their first demos into a more complex, melodic, epic and atmospheric style that culminated in the masterpiece, Slaughtersun – Crown Of The Triarchy (1998). Along with UNANIMATED and EUCHARIST, DAWN is considered to be one of the most underrated acts that merged death and black metal during the mid 90’s.

In the first half of 2014, the band’s catalog will finally be made available again on CD and–for the first time ever–on vinyl. Carefully re-mastered by Dan Swanö, these re-issues feature re-worked artwork and more (all done in full cooperation with the band). The planned DAWN releases are:

– Demos 1991-1993 (title TBA) on CD/LP

– Nær Sólen Gar Niþer For Evogher (originally released in 1994) on CD/LP

– Sorgh På Svarte Vingar Fløgh (originally released in 1996) on MCD/MLP

– Slaughtersun – Crown Of The Triarchy (originally released in 1998) on CD/2LP

These releases has long been out of print and have gone for big money on ebay.  It’s great that this band is getting some love.