Album Premiere: Convocation – No Dawn for the Caliginous Night
Beautiful and devastating
Any musician can tell you that it’s much harder doing slow music than fast. Precision becomes more important at lower tempos as mistakes become more obvious, and there’s a natural tendency to rush things that makes it that much more difficult to maintain an even pace. Moreover, it’s hard making slow music interesting, especially in a generally up-tempo genre like metal. Dynamics, texture, all these components of songwriting that tend to get left by the wayside are suddenly of paramount importance, and it takes a lot of skill to bring those out while also still feeling “metal.”
And that is all precisely why No Dawn for the Caliginous Night is so damn good. Everything on this album feels meticulously plotted out, placed with such perfect intentionality and care that it never feels slow despite being slow, if you catch my drift. If you don’t, then worry not: we’ve got the full stream for you right here. Sit down with your best set of speakers and stab that mf’n play button.
As mentioned above, dynamics and texture are extremely important in this style of music, and Convocation never slack in keeping the music varied on both those fronts. Right away you’ll notice organ alongside the guitar, drifting in and out with various strings and choral moments. I love when the cello cuts through the mix; there’s a particularly powerful moment partway through closing track “Procession” with it leading into a synth string bridge that might have sounded cheesy were it not so cathartic. It’s rare that this type of instrumentation feels like it’s used appropriately alongside heavy distortion and death growls, but here, it’s downright essential. That lead melody on “Atychiphobia” would be lesser were it played on guitars, and the whole of the album sounds so rich with all these instruments across its runtime.
The other big draw for me is the type of emotion expressed across the album. Funeral doom it may be, but it mostly eschews the mournful dreary trappings of the genre in favor of rage and fear. This is played out through everything from the flow of the songs to the vocals and even to the guitar tone. It simmers and seethes, building to these explosive moments of raw power and emotion that continue to leave me floored on repeat listens.
It’s only in recent years that I’ve started to test the waters of funeral doom (we can thank Atramentus for that), and it’s still not my go-to genre, but I feel I can say with some confidence that Convocation represents some of the best of what it has to offer with their latest. It is a monster of an album, gripping from start to finish, about as close to perfect as one can get. Funeral doom might not be everyone’s thing, but as the strings swell and the vocals howl, even the most stubborn of nonbelievers will be drawn in by this masterpiece.