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.