Crossing The Acheron, the opening track from the debut album of the Italian outfit Blue Dawn, is very promising. The keyboards by guest musician James M. Jason sound very orchestral indicating that Blue Dawn produce progressive rock music. However, after this instrumental piece of music the true identity of the band comes to the surface, because the second track The Hell I Am is just a very simple and straightforward rock tune. Female singer Monica Santo hasn't got a very strong voice either; in fact she sings rather mediocre. More songs follow with the same structure and up-tempo rhythms with hardly any tempo changes. It's just rock music; no more no less.
In the info sheet Blue Dawn state that they are inspired by seventies hard rock bands as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Who and Deep Purple. However, I'm afraid that I could hardly discover any hints of these bands. And when they appear after all, these hints certainly don't reach the same quality level as these bands achieved in the seventies! Bass player Enrico Lanciaprima has an important role on almost all tracks. That's not that strange if you know that he's one of the main composers of this album. His bass lines are very up-front in the final mix and as a result the bass dominates the music most of the time. Also the guitar riffs and solos played by Paolo Cruschelli are dominant in the compositions. The two guest musicians who play the keyboards and the ones on the saxophone and the accordion just get an occasional solo spot. Sometimes they create a nice intro, but they never shift the music in the direction of what we call progressive rock and that's what I would like to hear on an album.
So far this review indicates that this CD-release will not get a very high rating. Well, that's right, because I hardly enjoyed Blue Dawn's music. For progressive rock devotees this album is hard to digest. This release is only enjoyable for people who like their rock music straightforward with simple rock riffs and simple structures. Sure, there's an audience for the music made by Blue Dawn, but they're not easy to find among the readers of this website.
** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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