Four years ago I suggested Dawnbringer’s third album In Sickness and In Dreams had the best sounding guitars of 2006. (Can you think of any that sounded better?) Chicago multi-instrumentalist Chris Black, aka Professor Black, the man behind Dawnbringer, is also the main force in traditional metal crews Superchrist (“Fuck With Your Boots On”!) and High Spirits, is a member of Pharaoh, and writes most of the lyrics for Nachtmystium. He’s an unsung American metal hero akin to Slough Feg’s Mike Scalzi — dudes who remain too “cult” considering everything they’ve contributed to the canon. On Black’s excellently smart, anthemic fourth Dawnbringer album, Nucleus, he handles those epic vocals, drums, and bass. He’s joined here/there by guitarist Scott Hoffman with additional solos by Bill Palko and Matt Johnsen and Scott Haskitt’s acoustic breaks. I asked Black to talk a bit about standout “Like An Earthquake.”
“Like an Earthquake” has several markings of a typical Dawnbringer song: ostinato guitars, an acoustic break, and some Mikkey Dee drum fills. The structure of this one took a lot of patience, and it wasn’t until Bill Palko laid down his solos that the arc seemed complete. I wanted to tone down the chorus a bit, but Sanford Parker said no way. He was right: this one’s all about tension and release.
Grab the next available lighter:
01 “So Much For Sleep”
02 “You Know Me”
03 “The Devil”
04 “Swing Hard”
06 “Like An Earthquake”
07 “All I See
08 “Old Wizard”
Nucleus is out 9/21 via Profound Lore. It should not be overlooked.