It’s a real wonder the difference that not even two years can make in a band’s sound. When I first came upon Dawnwalker at the end of 2020 with their opus, “Ages”, I was quite surprised with what I heard and was more than keen to see where the band would be headed next with a tremendous sound that mixed together folk and heavy prog in a way that felt meaningful, fresh, and wildly potent. Yet, such a concoction with that sound was not meant to last as it was very quickly that Dawnwalker began to pen their next effort, the upcoming “House of Sand”, and it’s made clear from the very cover art alone that a distinct shift has been made by the band and what it brings forward.
I would’ve been more than happy to see Dawnwalker continue with the sound that I first heard from them even though they clearly already mastered it, I really did feel as though there was a lot more that was to be tapped into with such a sound with the talent that this band has at their disposal. But, there’s never anything wrong for a shift so long as it’s in the interest of the band for reasons that they’ve happy with, and you can really feel throughout the very whole of “House of Sand” that Dawnwalker feels themselves in this shift. Despite these thirteen tracks coming together for what’s the band’s shortest effort by a decent margin, this is not a creation that is very easily pinned down with genre descriptors or stylistic notions that are able to make this an easy record to describe. Each and every one of the seven musicians have massive roles to play throughout the sprawling wonder of “House of Sand” such that their distinct flavors and indistinguishable fingerprints can be found around every corner of the final product, influencing one another to build off each other to really allow the work as a whole to become something that quickly allows itself to be made into a deeply layered, multi-dimensional, and passionate effort that very few can ever hope to come close to. All of that is without even considering the themes of the darkness of the human psyche where all seems pristine on the surface, giving “House of Sand” far more depth than what much of its competition is able to bring to the table as well as the very sort of wonder that warrants the record to be experienced more than one time. As if the record wasn’t gripping and dramatic enough already.
Definitely, this is one of those records that made me sweat in the prospect of trying to put into words for all that it is and brings to the table, and it’s now at the point that I can only implore you to investigate for yourself what this record is made of for I can only hope to have properly scratched the surface of what Dawnwalker has accomplished here. The very magnitude of “House of Sand” is something that cannot be easily dismissed, and I still cannot help but feel as though there’s still so much that we have yet to hear from this wondrous collective.
“House of Sand” releases on August 19th!
LISTEN to an advanced track from “House of Sand” on Bandcamp here, or via YouTube below
LIKE Dawnwalker on Facebook here.