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Music Review: Dawnrider – Fate Is Calling (Pt. 1)

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Dawnrider’s Fate Is Calling (Pt. 1) is an interesting epic fantasy metal album that is filled with interesting musical segments while also mining ground that I feel I have heard before. Even though there is that sense of familiarity, I have to admit to enjoying the album as a whole, even without knowing what the whole story is.

This album was originally released in Europe back in 2005, and I am not sure if there even is a part 2 yet. I have found no evidence of it outside of a mention at the Dawnrider website that says the music was beginning to take shape as of September of 2006. What is even more interesting than the music is that this is something of a companion piece to a novel being written by the man behind the music, Tarek Maghary, who is also the frontman of the band Majestic.

The multimedia experiment is pretty interesting, and not something that you see all that often in the music world. I do remember, back in the 1990’s, there was the Star Wars novel, Shadow of the Empire, that had its own score written by Joel McNeely.

Honestly, I cannot think of another example of a project such as this. Apparently, there was supposed to be a 30 page booklet that accompanied the CD release that tells the story of Dawnrider, which takes place in the universe originated in Sword and Sorcery, a fantasy novel also written by Maghary. As it stands, the booklet is now promised to come with part 2 whenever it arrives. As a consolation, Maghary has recorded a reading of the chapter that correlates to the second track, “When Our Troops Unite.”

Fate is Calling (Pt. 1) is something of a vanity project for Maghary — a way to flex his creative muscle over a variety of media. And it is one that has a lot to offer. To help in the recording of the album, he has assembled a collection of guest stars from other metal acts. Among those appearing on the album are James Rivera (Helstar), Mark Shelton (Manilla Road), Rob Rock, Sven DZAnna (Wizard), Michael Seifert (Black Destiny), and a host of others.

There is a good variety to the album, from the plethora of different singers lending their voices to the blend of heavy and melodic sounds. It does not sway to far to either the heavy or melodic side, but it does move through both sides of the line in a soft wave. Taken as a whole, the result is an album that delivers a good listening experience. I cannot say that any one track really stands out from the rest, although “Guarding the Gate” comes close. This is an album that really is meant to be enjoyed en toto.

Bottomline: I liked it. It does not tread any new ground, but it is a solid straight ahead example of fantasy power metal. It offers up enough variety to keep your interest, while having a story of warriors and demons doing battle throughout. How can you go wrong?

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