Golden Dawn - Return to Provenance

For those of you who don't know Golden Dawn, I guess a brief introduction to this Austrian act is in order. Originally conceived as a one-man-project by mastermind Stefan Traunmüller aka Dreamlord, Golden Dawn has released two strong records in the late 90’s, including their seminal debut “The Art of Dreaming” which is still heralded as one of the strongest black metal released in that decade. Although the records were critically acclaimed, they never really attained the level of popularity of their Norse peers and following some hassles with record labels the group disbanded leaving Traunmüller on its own once again. In the ten years since their second album “Masquerade”, Traunmüller has been spending his time setting a recording studio and producing a variety of other projects like Wallachia and Bifröst. During this period he also had enough time to prepare a new album that is now released by Non Serviam Records.
Despite the long interregnum, “Return to Provenance” does not differ that much from its predecessor as Golden Dawn pick up right where they left off, composing a dynamic and majestic black metal record that feels like one dark, intriguing and malicious story is being narrated. The songs marvelously flow from feverishly paced vitriol into slower and compelling atmospheric moments, where Traunmüller is often willing to experiment with Eastern notes and grandiose melodies. Starting with the folksy and equally storming “Nameless”, the band shows they’re are completely capable of switching between harsh, dissonant moments and contemplative, dark harmonies within compositions without ever loosing the momentum. As such, “Return to Provenance” is highly successful record that any black metal enthusiast should check out. (8/10)

Alex Grimm