UK black metal trio DAWN RAY’D has today shared the lead single from their forthcoming third album, To Know The Light, with an accompanying music video for the track, titled Ancient Light. On their latest full-length DAWN RAY’D return as a reinvigorated version of themselves, presenting a reimagining of exactly what black metal is and can be in the future. To Know The Light will be released via Prosthetic Records on March 24, supported by UK tour dates (more details below).
Speaking on Ancient Light‘s release, the band comments: “Ancient Light is the first song we wrote for this record, it was written during a very bleak time when it felt like the world was crashing down around us, and one of the things that got us through that time was our belief in the goodness of people, in the strength of community, in the power of art and creativity.
“The lyrics are about how capitalism leaves us feeling divorced from our very selves, and robs us of our time, dreams and the things that make us happy. We are forced into lives of subjugation and coercion, against our will and against our best interests. But we are not beaten, we are many, we are powerful and together we are unstoppable. Every government, every king, every tyrant knows this, we just have to realise it ourselves.”
To Know The Light is a departure from their previous missives in more ways than one. Although still overtly political, the lyrics take on a more personal slant than before. Lyrically, To Know The Light traces the band’s own journey through anarcho-nihilism; from anger, to despair, to a radical acceptance of the darkness all around us, settling on a new understanding of liberation and joy. Whilst much of the thematic content is rooted in rage and resistance, there are also elements of positivity to be found throughout.
Recorded at the Station House in Leeds, in what can arguably be described as an appropriate repurposing of an old police house, and Mynetaur Studios with production by Mark Mynett (Rotting Christ, My Dying Bride) and additional engineering by James Atkinson. DAWN RAY’D have crafted an album high on production values with clean vocals, rich layering and many melodic passages of majestic theatricality, all without compromising intensity.
DAWN RAY’D define folk music as a way to document the injuries, abuses and real-life stories of working class people; a way to disseminate information that would otherwise not be accessible. Sonically speaking, too, they incorporate elements of traditional folk music into their music – notably within the harmonies and layers on tracks such as Requital and Freedom in Retrograde.
Citing influences as genre-diverse as Chumbawumba, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Propagandhi, Lankum, and Crass, it is evident that the message is still as important as the music. The thread that runs through all these bands – and many others – is one that allows for creative expression around common themes of class struggle, freedom and resistance. Much of the lyrical content is poetic in structure and delivery, but never at the expense of straightforward language when necessary. The album’s cover continues this theme of directness, featuring a photograph taken in France by Remi Moon, with additional artwork and layout by Ethan McCarthy. The image features a silhouetted figure in front of a fire at a protest.
Consider this an invitation to disregard preconceptions about DAWN RAY’D and the genre(s) within which they reside. Consider To Know The Light as not just a rallying cry but a sincere offering of a new way of looking at the world.
To Know The Light tracklist:
1. The Battle of Sudden Flame
2. Ancient Light
5. Sepulchre (Don’t Vote)
6. Cruel Optimism
7. In the Shadow of the Past
8. Freedom in Retrograde
9. Wild Fire
10. Go As Free Companions
DAWN RAY’D is:
Simon Barr – Vocals, violin, synths
Fabian Devlin – Guitars, vocals
Matthew Broadley – Drums and percussion, harmonium, piano
To Know the Light UK release tour dates:
January 14 – Temple of Boom – Leeds, UK
February 3 – Record Junkee – Sheffield, UK
March 3 – Ivory Blacks – Glasgow, UK
March 17 – Crofters – Bristol, UK
March 18 – Captains Bar – Stoke, UK
March 19 – The Anvil – Bournemouth, UK
March 23 – The White Hotel – Manchester, UK
March 24 – Lexington – London, UK
March 25 – Scruffy Murphys – Birmingham, UK
March 26 – Bar Social – Derby, UK