Shades of Dawn - The Dawn of Time. 1998 Germany

Throughout the 90s and 00s, there were quite a few German bands operating in the UK neo prog styled genre. Most of them didn't capture my ear. Shades of Dawn is definitely in the upper tier of that group, primarily due to the exceptional instrumental work, that captures the very best of bands like IQ and Lahost. They also remind me quite a bit of fellow countrymen Tea in the Sahara. And the synthesizer and guitar work do recall the German late 70s heyday of bands like Ivory, ML Bongers Project, Anyone's Daughter, and Amenophis. As is often the case with bands from Germany performing in this style, the vocals are quite suspect, and they would have been better served to sing in either their native tongue, or found someone more suitable for the task. And during some of the song sections, the music is nothing more than a backdrop for the lyric. This isn't their strong suit, so they probably should have tried harder to obfuscate it. Ah well, not to end on a sour note, as fortunately the instrumental work dominates here. Interesting to note that this album didn't score well on ProgArchives, demonstrating a completely different view of the neo prog genre than myself.

As an aside, the Early Birds label is actually Second Battle. I had completely forgotten that they had taken an interest in contemporary music, only thinking of them in a reissue capacity. Shades of Dawn were to move to Musea, a label much more associated with this kind of music. Oh cool, looks like I have another one from this band in the stack! These are fortunate times, when one can find these CDs on the cheap - to revisit what was missed.

Personal collection
CD: 1998 Early Birds / Second Battle

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