U.K. anarchist black metal trio Dawn Ray’d have today released their new single, “Go As Free Companions,” alongside an accompanying music video—directed by JG Visuals. ‘Go As Free Companions’ is the third track to be taken from Dawn Ray’d forthcoming third full-length, To Know The Light, which is for release via Prosthetic Records on March 24.
Watch the music video for “Go As Free Companions” below:
Speaking on “Go As Free Companions,” Simon Barr (vocals, violin, synths) comments:
“To Know The Light is an exploration of anarcho-nihilism, and Go As Free Companions is our conclusion. We have chosen not to despair in the face of overwhelming odds, but to live while time allows it. If the future is canceled, if the present is all we have, then each minute must be revolutionary; every moment counts, so live these ideas in every moment.
“It is easy to know what we are against, but we must not forget what we are for. Whilst there is joy, love, empathy, kindness, people in need of your help, we cannot give up. You may sometimes feel like it, but you are not alone, and you are not powerless; there are huge numbers of us. Let’s find each other! Though acrid black clouds race across the horizon we must not forget: Today, the sun still shines.”
To Know The Light is a departure from their previous missives in more ways than one. Although still overtly political, the lyrics take on a more personal slant than before. Lyrically, To Know The Light traces the band’s own journey through anarcho-nihilism: from anger, to despair, to a radical acceptance of the darkness all around us, settling on a new understanding of liberation and joy. Whilst much of the thematic content is rooted in rage and resistance, there are also elements of positivity to be found throughout.
Recorded at the Station House in Leeds, in what can arguably be described as an appropriate repurposing of an old police house, and Mynetaur Studios with production by Mark Mynett (Rotting Christ, My Dying Bride) and additional engineering by James Atkinson. Dawn Ray’d have crafted an album high on production values with clean vocals, rich layering and many melodic passages of majestic theatricality, all without compromising intensity.
Dawn Ray’d define folk music as a way to document the injuries, abuses and real-life stories of working class people; a way to disseminate information that would otherwise not be accessible. Sonically speaking, too, they incorporate elements of traditional folk music into their music—notably within the harmonies and layers on tracks such as Requital and Freedom in Retrograde.
Citing influences as genre-diverse as Chumbawumba, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Propagandhi, Lankum, and Crass, it is evident that the message is still as important as the music. The thread that runs through all these bands—and many others—is one that allows for creative expression around common themes of class struggle, freedom and resistance. Much of the lyrical content is poetic in structure and delivery, but never at the expense of straightforward language when necessary. The album’s cover continues this theme of directness, featuring a photograph taken in France by Remi Moon, with additional artwork and layout by Ethan McCarthy. The image features a silhouetted figure in front of a fire at a protest.
To Know The Light tracklist:
1. The Battle of Sudden Flame
2. Ancient Light
5. Sepulchre (Don’t Vote)
6. Cruel Optimism
7. In the Shadow of the Past
8. Freedom in Retrograde
9. Wild Fire
10. Go As Free Companions
Simon Barr – Vocals, violin, synths
Fabian Devlin – Guitars, vocals
Matthew Broadley – Drums and percussion, harmonium, piano
Remaining To Know the Light UK release tour dates:
March 17 – Crofters – Bristol, UK
March 18 – Captains Bar – Stoke, UK – SOLD OUT
March 19 – The Anvil – Bournemouth, UK
March 23 – The White Hotel – Manchester, UK
March 24 – Lexington – London, UK
March 25 – Scruffy Murphys – Birmingham, UK
March 26 – Victoria Inn – Derby, UK
Follow Dawn Ray’d on Facebook.
Photo courtesy of Jake Owens