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Message - The Dawn Anew Is Coming  CD (album) cover

THE DAWN ANEW IS COMING

Message

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.75 | 32 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars A talented vintage progressive-related band with ties to Nektar, and well in need of fresh exposure and rediscovery, English/German band Message released a string of very solid albums starting from the early 70's with a focus on strong vocal melodies with lengthy clean instrumental passages. Their debut album from 1972 `The Dawn Anew Is Coming' is driven by the superior English language vocals of charismatic frontman Tom McGuigan and the epic electric guitar runs of Allan Murdoch. Heavy moments and light jazz/fusion flavours all feature, and like with the Moody Blues, often the lyrics (and the album title itself) seem to hint at a vague mind-expanding consciousness, giving the album a bit more weight and mystery.

Opener `Changes' is a punchy rocker almost in the manner of early Eloy, a chugging guitar urgency to the piece with two electric guitars playing separately on either side of the speakers. The atmospheric title-track moves back and forth through a wide range of emotions and moods. Slowly unfolding, thoughtful if slightly downbeat verses of low-key murmuring bass ruminations and a gloomy vocal shift in and out. Frantic up-tempo rapidly strummed acoustic/electric guitar passages chime with a manic urgency. Twisting and turning electric guitars snarl together with furious honking saxophone throughout `Evil Faith and Charity', a malevolent heavy rocker almost in the manner of Van der Graaf Generator. A spitting vocal howl, attacking drumming, wet cardboard box bass and dirty guitar grooves spiral ever downwards, lots of addictive bluster and noise to this one!

The melancholic `Heaven Knows' that opens the second side is the longest track at almost ten minutes. It's a mix of spacey, ambient moments interspersed with energetic and racing passages, the thoughtful lyrics a reflection on human and spiritual love. Building cymbal rises, eerie guitar chimes and sombre Mellotron veils compete with a pounding drumbeat and snaking electric guitar runs. `When I'm Home' is a paean to the contentment of being home, a confident and up-tempo eclectic pop/rocker full of bluesy guitar wailing and fluid bass slithering through the darkness. The highlight is when the piece slows down for an ambient passage in the middle with a stream-of- consciousness narrated recitation of a poem by Veronika Green "For The Darkness" over the most gentle and stirring of Mellotron wisps (like earlier in the album, supplied by Taff Freeman of Nektar).

Barely running a brisk 33 minutes doesn't ever allow time for filler or less interesting material to creep in, instead keeping the album direct and compact, with a perfect balance between catchy vocals with winning melodies and expertly executed instrumental sections. The follow-up album `From Books and Dreams' would prove to be their ambitious and darker masterpiece, but this debut still reveals itself to be a strong collection of melodic ambitious rock, and evidence of a band starting to stretch their progressive wings. Although the follow-up is superior, and the band also went on to record some decent (if more commercial) albums later on, there's still something charming about the na´ve yet warm adventurous rock music found here, and it's my personal favourite from Message. Not a particularly important release, but a damn fine album and band all the same.

Three and a half stars, but I'll round it up to four.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |

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