Wed 26th November 2014
To walk alone in the middle of winter through cold, dead woods is something that should come as advice for both lifting and deadening one's mood simultaneously. Similarly, listening to pulsing, crushing post metal made in a similar way to Belgium's Charnia should also come as solid health recommendations.
Like a slog when the ground is cracked by frost and water hangs off every tree branch, listening to Dageraad is a tough, but rewarding challenge. Steeped in ambient sections as much as screaming, heaving metallic swathes, it's an atmospheric and dark affair.
Not mentioning fellow countrymen Amen Ra would be remiss, the more paced sections have more than a hint of imitation to them, but there's also a clear Isis and Cult of Luna influence at play. The dynamics Charnia employ drift from absolute quiet to burning riff explosions at short notice, but it could be argued employ a much more melancholic manner than any of their influences ever do. As a result, the likes of Het Dodenhuis ring with a sadness and sense of despair that border on the empty and despondent fringes of black metal aesthetics. This lifts them above the label of copyists and gives them a sense of individuality that bands in this genre ultimately must strive for.
The closing 16-minute title track is worth a concerted listen too, all stark buil-ups and shockingly heavy payoffs. The intricacy on show here justifies multiple listens and shows off the band at their creative best.