Golden Dawn suddenly came into my life in a weird, coincidental way. My buddy Brain Smasher shared with me a whole heap of music and when I was perusing through to get a taste of what he’d so kindly delivered the cover to Masquerade stood out. It looked like it could be a metal/goth kind of thing and I’ve been in the mood for that stuff lately so it got pushed to the top of the “listen” pile. Upon further research I found out that yes, Golden Dawn does venture into some goth territory but not until the album after this, and that the main member of Golden Dawn, Stefan “Dreamlord” Traunmüller also works with Wallachia providing vocal work, bass, and “orchestration.” And here’s the coincidental part, I’ve been jamming the new Wallachia album quite a bit (because it rules) so there’s my round about way of getting to it.

On top of being in Wallachia and Golden Dawn, Stefan is also responsible for the also awesome Rauhnåcht, and The Negative Bias, four bands that are all unique in their own right as they are unique amongst each other. While the other three dabble more in varying shades of black metal, Golden Dawn is the clear stand alone of the bunch. This album is a creative powerhouse, which makes it rather difficult to review. Mostly because Stefan is playing with numerous themes and music styles here. Ok, to get to the basics of the band it would be black metal, power metal, electronic music, all mixed up in a neo-classical whirlwind of creative song structures, intense and masterful guitars, beautiful lyrics, and extremely creative and theatrical avenues of musical adventures. Ok, that wasn’t very basic, but neither is this band. I liken it to the dramatic and eclectic nature of bands like Sigh, Master’s Hammer, or The Ruins of Beverast, while none of those are anything like each other they do have a highly original way of crafting music and Golden Dawn does as well. And like those bands, Golden Dawn weaves the music in a way that makes you feel like you’re hearing a story being unfurled. There’s the highs and lows and explorations and all of it seems to come together and by the end you feel as though you’ve completed something.

Masquerade simply fucking rules. It’s metal music handled creatively and originally and on top of that, masterfully. This album begs you to listen to it.