Dawnrider - Two

I’ve heard a lot of hype about this band before, though I never actually felt compelled to seek out their lauded debut album “Alpha Chapter”, so I really can’t tell what I’m missing. Anyway, the opportunity to testify all the reasons behind such amount of buzz surrounding Dawnrider have presented itself with “Two”, which just like its name suggest it’s their second full-length work. I don’t know if my expectations were a little too high or something due to the all adulation I’ve read and heard about this Portuguese act, but I didn’t quite connected with it mentally or emotionally. Not because “Two” disappoints altogether, but it does seem to lack some really standout moments to trigger enthusiastic reactions on the listeners, well me. Sometimes Dawnrider are capable of delivering great strokes of doom-tinged metal, while other times their songs get terrifically annoying and substandard. One of these standout moments is opener “Scared of Light”, a loud, groovy, gritty and slightly psychedelic stoner-doom-rock piece bending towards Sea of Green and Monster Magnet. The riffs are massive and downright infectious, and although the voice of F.J. Dias needs some time to get used as it seems to be enwrapped in reverb-effects, it gives a nice psychedelic touch to song.
The rest of the album unfortunately never rises up to that standout opening note, both “Evil Deeds” and “The Hallow Path” sound fairly competent doom-metal tunes in the vein of Saint Vitus/Sabbath, but elsewhere there isn’t much to keep me enthralled. “Irinia” for instance perpetuates for eternity, 12-plus minutes to be precise, with a tiresome slow-motion riff that could well be a cure for insomnias. “Redemption” is an odd song, it has a punk and straightforward vibe that doesn’t really fit with the rest of the songs (it should be noted that several members of Dawnrider come from a punk background).
Definitely not the greatness I was excepting to hear.

Band info: www.myspace.com/dawnriderdoom
Label info: www.myspace.com/ragingplanetrecordsportugal