ALBUM REVIEW: Dawn of Solace – Waves

The ingenuity, inventiveness, and inclination of Finnish artist Tuomas Saukkonen appears to have no limits. He is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer who has been making music magic for a considerable amount of years. One of his many successful ventures is a solo project called Dawn of Solace. Tuomas released his first record, Darkness (Dead Air Records) in 2006 and the betwiching gloom he captured on that release was different from all his other works. Now it’s time to get another taste of this project’s gothic goodness on the new album, Waves (NobleDemon).

There is a prompt enticement on the opening track, ‘Lead Wings’. The amplified yearning in the guitar’s sound overwhelms and immediately immerses you into a sorrowful, yet wonderfully wistful world. When the clean vocals of featured artist Mikko Heikkilä kick in, his effortlessness and earnest presentation lurches the listener into a deep sea of contemplation. The airiness of the melodies pair perfectly with the weighty guitar work. The pace moves on the second track, ‘Ashes’ and Mikko continues to grace the senses with his compelling vocals. Tuomas’ guitar solos and melodic fills storm with fortitude and sensibility on every single song. Each number has a majestic mournful tone which creates a magnetic melancholy mixed with marvel and majesty.

The stunning sounds of the instrumental splendor on tracks ‘Silence’ and ‘Choice’ gallop with gripping grandeur. A swarm of emotions overtake you and the loneliness Mikko is proclaiming is felt in deep places. The sincerity in the guitars capture a similar inflection that Tuomas plays in his other bands Before the Dawn and Wolfheart. The angst and heart in his playing bleeds with persuasive passion. Each track rakes the dead leaves off the soul and exposes sentiments to be claimed. ‘Tuli’ is a song that means fire in Finnish and the angry edge in Tuomas’ distortion heats things up and creates an intense, yet inviting atmosphere. The lyrics are sung in Finnish which is a rich language that captures a rare strength, beauty, and elegance. The last number, ‘Ghost’ takes on melodies and vocal patterns that stimulate and engross the listener into a wild, wintery wonder. There is not a single dull moment on this album. The themes of life, time, and nature seeped into each song are profoundly met. The magnitude throughout the whole record hosts a genuine uniqueness and succulent sadness. There is intrigue and a somber charm from beginning to end.

9 / 10