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  • Jason Hesley


Liverpool, UK's DAWN RAY’D have today shared their new single The Battle of Sudden Flame and an accompanying music video, directed by JG Visuals. The Battle of Sudden Flame is the second track to be taken from the black metal trio's upcoming third album, To Know The Light, which is due out on March 24 via Prosthetic Records.

Speaking on The Battle of Sudden Flame, the band comments: “The lyrics to this song feel very relevant to what we have seen the police do in 2023, but has there ever been a year when that wouldn't be the case? "One of the ways working people have been able to tell the stories of their lives is through folk music; documenting labour struggles, the lives of revolutionaries, and all the abuses those in power commit against us. There is no break between the past and the present, this is a true story told in the best way we know how. Folk music isn't a synonym for 'accoustic' or 'twee', it is the music of our real lives, we the folk down here struggling.

"It isn't controversial to hate an institution that brutalises women, torments the poor, murders people of colour with impunity, covers for the abusive rich and crushes dissent. "We don't have to justify our opposition to the police, that is the burden of those who choose to support them.” 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.

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