Black Dawn
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Black Dawn

Band Rock Metal


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"Age of Reason Review"

Review by Mike SOS

Pounding the pavement on the NYC music scene for nearly a decade, the veteran metal troupe Black Dawn has retained a simple yet effective approach: keep it heavy. And heavy is what these metal merchants are all about, as the outfit’s latest 11-track offering is a power groove machine primed and ready to explode. Age Of Reason contains a blend of a Sabbath meets Pantera by way of ‘80s thrash metal, laden with moody vocals not unlike Life of Agony or Alice in Chains. Black Dawn’s brand of dark, chunky riffs on tracks like “I Am Who I Am” and “Push” should keep the heads bobbing, while the atmospheric acoustically led “Four Rings of the Moon” showcase a more laid back side to the pummeling quartet. Black Dawn has persevered and has remained intact throughout all of the struggles of keeping a NYC band together, and Age Of Reason resonates those successes and frustrations with unabashed metallic glory. -

"What else can you ask for from a good heavy rock band?"

Review by Joanna D.

Based in New York, Black Dawn is as heavy as heavy rock can get. They seem to bring a new and refreshing sound to what the term heavy rock/metal means. Matt (vocals, guitar), Tom (guitar), James (bass), and Enzo (drums), know how to rock out with aggression and attitude. They definately have a vibe going on and play well with each other. Good angry vocals, crunchy guitars, and pounding drums. What else can you ask for from a good heavy rock band? Musically this cd is quite good. You will want to put it on when you feel like rocking out and banging your head. -

"Big and mighty and playing to be heard."

Black Dawn is following in the footsteps of the few, the proud and the heavy. While not the only band these days to offer this style of heavy, hardcore music. They undoubtedly won't fall without a fight. The CD is "fat" all the way around when it comes to the sound. Thick, crunchy guitars and thud-like thundering bass and drums stick out like a jagged hunk of rusted metal ready to impale all in its path. Musically the performances are steady with the edge going to the lead guitar riffs. Vocally, the songs have lots of unique points, particularly going into the slow breaks. You can almost tell the musical influences that sparked most of the song writing: parts reminded me of such great heavy bands as Testament and The Storm Troopers of Death. All in all this is an excellent CD. - Long Island Entertainment


SELF TITLED (Winter 1997) BD001
LIVE AT CBGB’S (Spring 1998) SGR90101
ABSENCE OF TIME (Spring 1999) SGR90102
AGE OF REASON (Fall 2004) SGR90103



Black Dawn is four musicians, a faithful road manager, a growing legion of fans (ranging from rowdy adolescents to toothless old men and women), a respect and appreciation for the sound of silence, and a suitcase full of aggressive and
passionate hard-edged music.

"Black Dawn is following in the footsteps of the few, the proud and the heavy..." (Musicians' Exchange)

Enzo: "Our music appeals to a large age group, one night we were playing a show and we had just finished a song and this deranged old man got up on stage and started dancing. He had three teeth missing and had his underwear hanging out of his pants. He liked us so much that he took his money out and starting handing it out to everyone in the band..."

Matt: "And then there was the time we played at that dive in Queens and that fat old lady with the fur coat and no teeth started bumping and grinding to the music. We kind of appeal to everyone, young and old..."

The original incarnation of Black Dawn was created in 1992 when Tom Kelly hooked up with a local Long Island bass player. Originally intending to have the band be a hobby, over the years it has evolved into a very serious affair.

Tom: "I hate to use the word 'hobby' to describe what I do with the band because that puts it in the same category as stamp collecting and building models. This is so much more than just a hobby. It's a way of life..."

"Black Dawn has been labeled 'New York's Hardest Alternative Rock Band'. But f*ck that. They're not alternative. They're metal. The way it's supposed to be..." (Backwash Zine)

Black Dawn's long awaited fourth CD "Age of Reason", follows on the heels of their very successful self-titled CD, released in 1997, the live recording ("Live at CBGBs"), released in 1998, and their first full-length CD "Absence of Time" in 1999. All three releases charted on hundreds of college, alternative and loud-rock radio stations throughout the Northeast and earned the band a folder full of praise.

The band strives to stay fresh and vibrant in a genre that is muddy and dark; aims to be positive amidst lyrics that are manic, frustrated and angry; breathes new life into a musical style that is often over saturated by stale, "been there, done
that" local bands. Much of this originality can be attributed to the principle songwriter/vocalist/guitarist Matt Kotten.
Although the music he writes is heavy and angry-sounding, his lyrics are passionate and emotional. This contradiction gives the music a fresh twist and sets the band apart from other bands in the genre. In addition, Matt feels that the music benefits from the strong connection the band members have to each other.

Matt: "We really know how to work well with each other. I write the music and lyrics, but I'll also really get inspired by [drummer] Enzo - the way he plays. I totally vibe from that. And the other members will add their input in arranging once the songs are done."

"These disturbed hardcore rock dynamos bring new meaning to soul in 'my soul has been possessed by music'... Their passion fr these satanic symphonies has helped them emerge as one of the best bands of it's kind on Long Island and
resurrected that kick-ass type of music we call unadulterated heavy metal..." (Long Island Entertainment)

Pete: "How do the fans react? Hopefully, they leave a show bloody and beaten but totally fulfilled..."

The members of Black Dawn stay honest by being true to themselves and true to the music, and after years together, they know how to make the band machine work smoothly. Besides their obvious musical roles, they also have their unspoken
roles within the band: Matt is the sensitive one - he brings the aggression into the songs. Tom is the serious one -- he brings stability and helps keep the music together. Enzo is the crazy one - he adds the power behind it all. James is the cool, collected one - he brings the soul into the music.

Black Dawn’s fourth CD "Age of Reason" is scheduled for a Summer 2001 release, and promises to deliver what their famousfor: honest, no-holds-barred, aggressive and passionate music. With no compromises...

James: "The most important thing is that you never settle on just trying to please an audience by playing what you think they want to hear and see. If something is bothering you about what you're playing, then change it. If something is still bothering you after that, then don't play. Maybe complete silence is the sound you are searching for to complete that masterpiece..."