Sacred Dawn
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Sacred Dawn

Band Metal


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I would really like to know what kind of stuff has been mixed with the water of Illinois around Chicago, that there they should be constantly bringing up new, first class metal bands like mushrooms from the earth. After Ravensthorn, Eden’s Fall, Twelfth Gate, Ion Vein and Mindwarp Chamber now also comes Sacred Dawn from this region.

Gears of the Machine covers the somewhat more progressive spectrum of hard metal. With great respect for their musical influences, this Trio takes the hard riffs elemental to Dream Theater and Savatage and combines them into one. It is beautiful to hear that Sacred Dawn reinforces their influence's contribution to metal and want to be known as a metal band yet, in proportion, the hard rock found in the 12 compositions of their CD cannot be denied.

I really like Shadows the best, it is reminiscent of Dickinson’s solo works and
I like The Man(Time Will Tell) which has sounds of Black Sabbath.

Give this album a few spins and I’m sure you will conclude that this is a well thought out, high class piece of work.

Rating: 10 points out of 12- Very Good!

-Martin Brandt
- Heavy Oder Was!?- Germany

When thinking of the town Aurora, the only connection for the longest time was Wayne and Garth, the protagonists from "Wayne's World." Aurora can offer Heavy Metal not only on the big screen, but also with real live bands. For example, Sacred Dawn, whose roots are from a town near Chicago, and could have earned the right to become known beyond this region.
All lovers of US American Power Metal should absolutely keep an ear out in the direction of this band, because Sacred Dawn's debut "Gears of the Machine” could very well be the next classic on the horizon.

Though the quartet has only been together since 2005, the musicians are absolutely no greenhorns as evidenced by their technical and product abilities. Originally the project started as an idea for a Solo Project by singer and guitarist Lothar Keller but it became clear it would not be difficult to find the right musicians and bring to life the band named Sacred Dawn.

Because there were several opportunities in the area to get support slots with established bands, Sacred Dawn was quickly able to secure opener spots for bands like Loudness, Kamelot and Epica. The band's obvious comfort level is not limited to the stage, rather the work produced in the studio was also obviously a good experience for the four men.

The debut album "Gears of the Machine" is powerful evidence of that comfort. The album is a huge undertaking and entails 12 songs from which not one can be considered a filler.

One can tell the influence of Savatage and later Fates Warning and Iron Maiden. Lothar's voice reminds one of Bruce Dickinson, and in the higher ranges of "Soldier’s Plea" CAGE's, Sean Peck. In addition one cannot overlook the comparison to this group (CAGE) from San Diego, because Lothar’s and John Vitale's riffing tends to go in the same direction.

The beginning of the title song is somewhat "irritating" especially through the low/deep vocals, but this in no way has a negative impact. Then the real "pearls" follow.

To name first would be the timeless “(Worlds Apart)The Desire”, which depicts in every phase the spirit of Cleveland's heyday of Heavy Metal. Also check out "Soldier’s Plea", because in this song Lothar offers a kind of singing that would give him the doubtless ability to be the next singer for MAIDEN if Bruce Dickinson is about to leave the band once more. Also, the great stomper, "Approval" or the up-tempo-headbanger " Master of Thought" earn the respect of the headbanger crowd.

One may heartily congratulate Sacred Dawn on this Album, because it turned out to be a really good one! When one considers what has been produced in this debut album, then one can be excited about the future development of this band.

Songs to listen to: Approval, (World's Apart)The Desire and Soldier's Plea

-Walter Scheurer

From Aurora, IL USA comes a band, named Sacred Dawn and to all US Power Metal some attention please! All began in January 2005 when vocalist / axeman Lothar Keller worked on a solo album, a combination of Hard Rock / Progressive and Heavy Metal. Let's say he built up the foundations for what should follow later on, I mean he wanted to set up a band and started to search for the right musicians to completing a full line up.

First guy founded was John Vitale, a great skilled guitar player who was a member of Highspeeddirt (Chicago based Megadeth tribute band). John and Lothar were joined later on by bass player Joey Vega, so with one more musician left to build up a full Metal formation, a drum pounder founded by the name of Brad 'Sabbath' Sabathne was found. Four guys, armed to the teeth with Metal skills and they started right on making some new songs.

Meanwhile, concerts were booked and opportunities to play as support for greats like Loudness, Epica, Kamelot, Eden's Fall, Ion Vein, etc. was a fact. The crowd saw that Sacred Dawn was a True Metal band for real, and they actually were ready to record a debut album. No words but deeds was their goal and Sacred Dawn went to the studio creating their first album ever entitled "Gears Of The Machine". All the works are completed and the album saw the light of day a few weeks ago and reached my postal address early this week.

Previously, I had a few words with Lothar Keller regarding past, present and future plans of the band and he told me something about the influences too. While mentioning bands such as Nevermore, Savatage, Fates Warning,...I knew these guys' album was gonna be one hell of a great product. My expectations became fully true brothers and sisters...this is really a fantastic piece of US Power Metal with some Progressive vibes. Clear, powerful and sometimes real deep and warm voice of Lothar sound wonderful!

Personally, I feel, its a great mixture of Sean Peck (Cage) and Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden). Both Lothar’s vocal and guitar talents caught my attention immediately. His guitar duels with John Vitale are very well trained, these guys brings you the most impressive axe shredding movements. Bass and drum combinations, nothing to worry about...all is in very good condition. Yeah, I dare to describe Sacred Dawn as a perfect Metal band with a very positive future in sight. Talent and a lot of ambition must bring them definitely on the international map of our own Metal world.

Musically, I'd like to compare with other awesome US Metal outfits like: Cage, Icarus Witch, The Conspiracy, Order Of Nine, Spirit Web, Taunted Zero...Maybe bands not that familiar for some of you, but these are one by one amazing bands. Feel free to check them out! Twelve songs await you spread over a running time of almost 55 minutes of pure US Metal pleasures. Production well done and faves of mine are tracks like: "(World Apart)The Desire", "Approval", "Shadows", "Master Of Thought" (this is my absolute fave of the entire album!!...SUPERB!), "Soldier's Plea", "Asmodeus".

Have a real good feeling each time playing this "Gears Of The Machine". My conclusion: one great US Power Metal effort with a Progressive feel that deserves a place in my personal top ten of best Metal albums of 2006. Band with a bright looking future for me. Hope to hear more from Sacred Dawn in the future.

Defenders of the US Metal movement, spread the word but first order at Sacred Dawn's debut at: or

MY POINTS: 96 / 100

-Stefan -

I don’t really know how to describe Sacred Dawn's music, I know its metal, but its somewhere in between prog and more traditional power metal, it reminded me a lot of Queensryche at times, probably because of the vocals, but the music also reminded me of Nevermore. Whatever you want to call them, one thing is certain, the album works, and it works well.

The band is mainly centered around the talents of vocalist/lead guitarist/bassist Lothar Keller, and its voice that lends most of the quality to this release, a mid-range melodic voice that can stand with the best of them, his upper range reminded me a lot of Geoff Tate's, the fact he can play his guitar as well is a testament to his ability.

The title track starts off the proceedings, clear cut progy riffs with a tinge of aggression, not overly complicated but rather melodic and catchy, the drums also accentuate the aggressive side, the tracks works quite well. One of the best cuts is the third one, "I'm The One", a catchy and strong chorus, fine riffing, this has all the trademarks that make this band good.

"Hatred" adds more depth, clean guitar verses with the usual strong guitar performance by Keller, and an added…well, it sounds like a Sitar, nice addition, the song continues into a heavy, Middle Eastern sounding riff. "White Road, Black Sun" is less conventional, starts off with an immediately heavy riff, deep melodic vocals and an aggressive break, the prog side is more evident, plentiful rhythm changes and some interesting riffs, still, it refrains from masturbatory technical passages, its still hard edged metal, played well.

I also liked some of the catchier tracks, such as "Walls Of Jericho", simple, hard rocking riffs with Keller's deep vocals, this is classic American melodic metal, they don’t make too much of that anymore.

Quite a pleasant surprise, this band, evidently veterans in their craft, have created a very good album indeed, strong melodic metal with enough sophistication and melody to satisfy both prog and traditional metal fans, I'll definitely keep an eye on them in the future.

-Alon Miasnikov, Isreal

"Gears of the Machine" is the first full length release from Sacred Dawn. It is, very simply, twelve tracks of melodic metal. This band isn't about being the heaviest, or the fastest. Sacred Dawn is technical guitar playing, progressive musical arrangements, and solid song writing. This disc starts quick and hits hard.

Our journey begins in a landscape of paranoia and government corruption. George Bush's neo-cons meet the Orwellian ideals of 1984. We "can't trust our neighbors or our friends". We're simply a "brainwashed public" that is sent off to die in political wars. Meaty cogs in a corrupt political machine.

Things start to look up with the track, "I'm The One". It starts out with a low-fi vibe and then explodes. This song has a great energy and feel to it. Alice In Chains meets Megadeth. I had only one reaction. Shut up and get in the pit!

"Hatred" offers a quiet side of Sacred Dawn. It is introspection into a friendship that has soured. This track shows the band is not afraid to experiment. The electric sitar solo was a pleasant surprise. Another was the mention of letters in the lyrics. Living in the age of e-mail, hand written letters have become oddities. I was caught off guard by this lyric. What isn't pleasant is the final message. "Fade into your black heart and forget you know me."

The one track that doesn't seem to fit this collection is "Shadows". It's kind of like Sebastian Bach in a Joey Ramone t-shirt. It just isn't quite right. This song reminded me of manufactured L.A. glam metal. I didn't hate the song. It just didn't match what I had been hearing. Maybe "Shadows" will make you a little reminiscent of those metal days of yesterday.

"Walls of Jericho" is the one track that is radio ready right out of the box. This is power rock at its best. Crank it up the next time you watch WWE Raw. The chorus won't stick in your brain, but the music will keep you moshing.

There are plenty of heavy tracks to be found on "Gears". "White Road, Black Sun" is a chance to get your growl on. "Master of Thought" is fast, heavy, and melodic. The band does a nice job of going from heavy slamming to a more open progression. The dual guitar leads also lend something different to this song.

"Asmodeus" is the heaviest track of the collection. It is also the perfect closing track for the disc. We are presented with the perpetual evil that lurks in the shadows. It seeps into politicians, as well as the rest of the assorted scum of the earth. How did we become the cogs in the machine? "You betrayed your beliefs," is the answer.

"Gears of the Machine" is a solid collection of introspective and politically observant songs. The guitar solos are fast, technical, and interesting. The musical arrangements keep your ears perked and your mind working. Sacred Dawn should be in your CD/I-pod collection.

- Eric T. Johnson


LP- GEARS of the MACHINE, Released June 2006
LP-GEARS of the MACHINE...A New Beginning
Songs played on DJ Tom Wylde
Songs played on Progmetal Angel
Songs played on Rebel Radio Network- Chicago


Feeling a bit camera shy


In January 2005, Lothar Keller was working on his first solo album when a vision of a union between hard rock, progressive, power and heavy metal musical styles was conceived. The groundwork was then assembled for what would become Sacred Dawn.
After a few stops and starts in a quest for the right players in the band, along came John Vitale. John saw the band play as a three-piece on New Year’s Eve, 2005. As the former guitarist of Chicago’s Megadeth tribute favorite, Highspeeddirt, he recognized talent and was very impressed with Sacred Dawn’s original music and wanted to be a part of the growth of the band.
John, however, wasn’t the only one looking for a new project. In May, 2006 Sacred Dawn was faced with finding a new bass player. Experience, stability and excellent chops were the requirements and so enter Joey Vega. Lothar and Joey Vega, members of a Chicago based music alliance, met and fortunate for Sacred Dawn, Joey enthusiastically agreed to be a part of Sacred Dawn.
One final step was needed before Sacred Dawn was ready to begin their journey- an unstoppable stickman. Brad Sabathne, stepped up and was the madman behind the kit that Sacred Dawn needed to be a solid, cohesive metal alliance.
Sacred Dawn pulls their influence from bands such as Dream Theater, Iron Maiden, Nevermore, Queensryche, Savatage, Fates Warning and many others. Through these influences, Sacred Dawn combines musical styles reminiscent of “old school metal” and molds them together with today’s “harsh, driving metal” to get a sound with a progressive feel, leading Sacred Dawn in the pursuit to bring guitar solos and true musicianship back into the metal music scene.