Across the Dawn is a four-piece alternative rock/electronic band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania comprised of Josh Morris (vocals, guitar), Shawn Minerd (guitar, keyboard), Justin Smith (drums) and Michael Meucci (bass guitar, keyboard). They recently released Across the Dawn which is their self-titled debut album.
The band mentions The Cure, Nine Inch Nails and Deftones as influences. I heard a little bit of The Cure but their very serious and dramatic vibe reminded me more of NIN and also bands like Linkin Park. There was a brief period of time in the early 2000’s when this music was very popular with band's like Evanescence and even going back further a band like Filter.
The album starts with “Amaranth” which begins with foreboding arpeggiated synth. It doesn't take too long for the song to explode and you hear the intense and emotive vocals. Morris is definitely a good singer and has range. He also embraces the affectation that made music similar to this become popular in the first place.
“Into The Unknown” starts off explosive. Morris laments, “I’ve become so tired of nothing being true / It’s time that I just leave your lies with you.” There are lines like this on this song and many others which have a lot in common with Reznor-esque nihilism. The band shows off their range with the atmospheric “Phantom” which is one of the highlights. I thought Morris was at his best on this song and I could see some similarities to The Cure and even Joy Division.
The band continues to have success with their songs. I found the songs to be very dynamic, well written and cohesive. “Porcelain,” the ballad-esque “Horizon” and “Waiting for Tomorrow” were highlights to my ears but I thought all the songs did a great job at building a foundation for the band.
I remember NIN being one of my favorite bands when I was a teenager. They still are but now that I'm almost forty and I don’t consume their music in the same way I did as a kid. I loved how intense the music was and that there was absolutely no levity to the dramatic feeling. I’ll admit it is harder for me to emotionally match where that music wants me to get to now that I’m older for reasons I won’t get into. I felt like this album was pressing on those same emotional buttons and perhaps at its best reminded me why I loved unapologetically emotive music like this in the first place. I truly do think bands like this connect most with a younger audience at first and might have a fan for life after that.
I think the album in concept and form was very well done. They did all the things I preach on this very website. The band was able to create that cohesive experience I look for in an album while also having enough diversity to keep things interesting. Take a listen.
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