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A Bitter Dawn is Approaching
Olympia, Washington is primarily known in music circles as the laid-back, hipster capitol of America, predominantly populated with ragged folk in thrift-store clothing who play their songs on toy guitars, usually missing two or more strings, the rest of which are left purposely untuned, and singing in twee, or possibly fey, off-key voices about trouble and/or happiness with their boyfriends, girlfriends, both, or some combination thereof. And maybe about how much they hate Republicans.
But recently a strange new wind has been blowing the stench of Metal across the town, like a plague, and contaminating, and let’s hope, decimating, all those who oppose it.
The Pacific Northwest has always had its fair share of Metal bands. Pre-grunge Seattle, for instance, was full of ‘em: Forced Entry, Metal Church, Bitter End, Panic, Queensryche, Coven, The Accused, etc. And here, in Olympia, we had Agressor, Cypress, Helltrout and the mighty Death Squad. Back in the 80’s hair was flyin’, mosh-pits were boilin’, fists were thrustin’ and there was a zero tolerance policy on posers. Well, as we all know, Metal never dies it just goes underground every once in a while, to recuperate, only to emerge stronger, meaner, nastier than ever.
Recently there has been somewhat of a Northwest Metal resurgence, but not just in the Emerald City – hippies have been spotted running for their lives, recently, in the streets of Olympia. Following hot on the hellish heels of bands such as Wolves In The Throne Room, comes Olympia/Lacey’s Bitter Dawn, a two-man beast that sounds as if they could have burrowed their way here straight from the frozen wasteland of Black Metal’s heart, fabled Norway, land of such legendary frost giants as Abbath Doom Occulta, Mortiis and Ihsahn. Bitter Dawn are Dietrich, rhythm guitarist, bassist, drummer, vocalist and Mikael who writes and plays lead, bits of rhythm guitar and a complicated style of bass. He also writes synth bits and does backing vocals.
The band recorded a six-track EP, Winterthorns, in 2008 in their home studio, using an organic analog recording approach that lends itself to their brand of Pacific Northwestern Black Metal. The two tracks the band submitted to Clods for review are “Lethargy In Red” and “Never End The Night”. Both feature scorching guitar, recognizable drums (rather than the trigger-happy drum machine sound so prevelant in much of today’s Black Metal) and absolutely throat-rending vocals that sound as if the singer is trying to claw his way out of Hell – with his larynx. Their sound is comparable to their inspiration, mainly the second wave of Norwegian Black Metal bands that proliferated during the early to mid nineties, such as Carpathian Forest, Darkthrone, early Satyricon, Taake and others. The music builds from a slow, dark crawl to adrenalin-infused thrashing, and often veers off into more complex and interesting territory for short periods, making one wonder what direction their songs will take in the future. At times ambient, disturbing, bleak and, yet, exciting and fresh, Bitter Dawn’s music deserves to be heard by a wide audience and should find a suitable home in the collections of even the most True KVLT Black Metallers, even though, to my knowledge, these guys have never torched a chapel.
The band is currently in the process of writing and recording their first LP and are searching for members to fill out their line-up.
Winterthorns is a split with the three song demo of Dietrich’s side project “Goat Regime”
You can check out their music at: http://www.myspace.com/thebitterdawn
.. 2007 - Bitter Dawn started off as a two man band consisting of Dietrich (British Columbia, Canada) and Mikael (Connecticut, USA) in Olympia, Washington (USA).
2008 - The band releases their first EP/demo from their home studio, entitled "Winterthorns". Available for free download HERE.
2010 - Due to multiple complications and changes, Bitter Dawn is relocated to British Columbia, Canada to continue as a one man project of Dietrich.
With such a drastic change comes a new Bitter Dawn home page featured HERE. In turn this page will become stagnant to capture the past and, origins of the project.
October 13, 2007
Original line up:
Dietrich - Rhythm guitar, bass, battery & vox.
Mikael - Lead guitar, bass, synth & backing vox.
The intertwining of depressive and raw black metal.
GOAT REGIME DEMO : http://www.mediafire.com/?nrmmzyomwdw
BITTER DAWN - WINTER THORNS : http://www.mediafire.com/?tnnimtm5mmj