It’s fair to say that Dawn Ray’d are a band who have gained prominence as much for their distinctive message as they have for their music. Whilst their folk-inflected take on raw black metal is certainly enjoyable, it probably wouldn’t be quite as endearing without their passionate rallying cries against the fascism, discrimination and xenophobia they see both in black metal and in wider society. They are undoubtedly the biggest torch-bearers of the rising Anti-fascist black metal scene, and Wild Fire feels like more than just a record, but the band’s most defining moment to date.
The EP consists of two different versions of the same track, the first being composed in their minimalist black metal style and the second in an anthemic folk style. There is also an accompanying video of the band performing the two versions live for Roadburn in an old church, which somehow gives even more power to these already compelling tracks. The band have really put their heart and soul into Wild Fire, turning it into something quite iconic which the band can hold on to as their biggest rallying cry.
In Wild Fire they’ve captured the essence of everything they stand for…
This is quite important because, in all honesty, Wild Fire is not Dawn Ray’d best song musically. The folk version is certainly a catchy number once listened to a few times, but the black metal version is not quite as strong as anything on their previous records. Dawn Ray’d have made sure that this doesn’t particularly matter though, because Wild Fire is about more than just a ferocious hook or a memorable riff.
The band have always used their music as a frame in which to display their message, but for the first time on Wild Fire it feels like that message is far more important than the music. I’m definitely not saying the music is unimportant, but Dawn Ray’d‘s message doesn’t just come across as interesting and intriguing here, it comes across as absolutely vital. In Wild Fire they’ve captured the essence of everything they stand for and, as the band themselves say in both tracks: ‘there’s nothing in these songs of which to be ashamed, everything we sing about I’d just as plainly say’.
Scribed by: Will J