George Will – Dawn

9 Production
9 Composition
8 Mood
9.5 Instrumentation

In early 2014 Latvian post-metal band Audrey Fall released Mitau, a very successful debut album that took many people by surprise, including the band members themselves. “But sometimes life gets in the way and sometimes you have to put even good things on hold, at least for a while” they posted, so in early 2015 the band went on hiatus. After that downer, Audrey Fall’s guitarist George ended up selling almost all his gear and even thought about quitting playing completely.

RELEASE DATE: 07 March 2017 LABEL: Self-released

Luckily enough for music lovers, two years later George slowly got back into music, initially playing piano but ending up conceiving an impeccable less metal / more post album. In George Wills work every single detail counts, starting with a beautiful neat ocre cover depicting what could be eagle-view mountains or who knows, maybe crazy fractals. The mystery increases when one reads the song titles, all four letters long, providing an overall sense of symmetry and aesthetic pulchritude that gets brilliantly expanded on the music itself.

Album opener (and title provider) “Dawn” starts with a beautiful piano intro that allows the listener to get into the song’s harmony while enjoying the rested appearance of bass, drums and guitars, all of them finding their well ordered way to kick in. An unresolved crescendo is created, twice, until the whole thing explodes. Even that blast, which by the way introduces strings, is far from being harsh. What a lovely sound! And how cool is it to know that all instruments have been recorded by George only?

It’s the truth, and almost unbelievable when one listens to the starring strings in “Mist” which create a vivaldesque loop that allows drums to show off (in a good way) until guitars fill it all. Great details continue on “Aeon”, where the song’s tempo bravely and wisely slows down at the very right moment, pushing epicness even further. “Iris” blends metal and post-rock (and probably my own iris) with a riff/rhythm combo that elevates the track to the instant classic category.

One can also find many cozy guitar/bass/piano-based intros like in “Veil”, “Sylo” or “Rhea”, where elegant triad of string arpeggios finally appear, preceding a well deserved rush. The last track “Arda” offers the best of such intros, developing a guitar and strings cosmic dance destined to blow one’s mind in the most exquisite way.

It is amazing how a solo project could get that big. George’s wills have certainly crystallised into an album that’s close to being a masterpiece. If only such an incredible effort would have a sequel! In my own perfect imaginary world, that future second album would leave behind the few remaining conventionalisms that appear in “Dawn”, and in that moment the ultimate listener’s musical experience would have been created.

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