【本地薑】M.1.1 反思末世的旋律 《Unto The Dawn - Apocalyptic Reflection》
思考良久，太多來自香港音樂單位的專輯希望詳述，一下子掉落到幸福的選擇難題。思前想後，決定以一般香港大眾較難下咽的類型 - 重型死亡旋律音樂 - 開始。
這次介紹的，是香港非主流樂隊 Unto the Dawn 的專輯 《Apocalyptic Reflection》。從認識了十多年的朋友 Soni＠InfreeRecords 手中買下這張專輯，回家放進唱盤中播放的一刻，從混音的水準已清楚了解樂隊製作之認真；整體音調與高低音色的平衡異常出色！編曲上，段落的變奏行雲流水，高揚激昂到幽寂沉鬱，氣氛的轉接，驚訝樂隊說故事的能力。筆者也特別喜歡那不刻意、直接了當的結他段落；一段恰到好處的結他演奏，比為快而快的公式刻板有味道得多。
死亡旋律的重型音樂，在創作上多有面對輕重旋律交替的不協調；Unto the Dawn 這張專輯其中一個精彩之處，正是以誦念的讀白調和與串連重型的嘶吼與旋律詠唱，並以讀白引路，帶出歌曲中的故事。不得不讚主音腔調的多變，尤其於廣東話的段落中，那低沉清晰的腔調與暴烈的沙啞嘶叫的強烈對比令情感上的轉變更顯戲劇性。
專輯題為 《Apocalyptic Reflection》，如題，就是面對末世降臨時的深切反省。
先是三首英文作品《Before Everything Dies》、《Lucifer Effect》及《As Blood Turns Violet》，帶著傳統的死亡金屬曲風，此類曲風的樂迷大概會十二分欣喜，一隊本地樂隊所奏的曲調，就如你我辛辛苦苦在各地找尋的傳奇樂隊的旋律，叫人一聽便入迷。筆者較喜歡的是《Before Everything Dies》，當中探討愛與死亡的關係，細緻討論愛在面對死亡的前提下的價值、傳承和珍惜，歌詞叫人細味。
但相比之下，粵語演繹的《逆容》和《末日》，將會是 Unto the Dawn 的音樂標記。在粵語的演唱下，音樂的演奏因粵語的句子結構帶來了節奏和旋律上的微妙調整，輕輕偏離了傳統死亡金屬的旋律結構，成為了獨特的存在。樂隊不扭曲粵語原有的音調，主唱段落中保留著粵語九聲的曲調旋律，令這兩首歌更有詩意和獨特的味道。
《逆容》中講述的，是世俗的虛偽與爾虞我詐，失真的面具下那扭曲了的人性與價值，道盡了我們每天在社會群流的抑遏中被利慾私囊昏厥誘餌的扭曲心境。《末日》則緊貼主題，為末日降臨帶出最深切的反思，寫出人性的黑暗面才是末世的始源、我們的放棄與迷茫才令末日到來的咎由自取。文字的刻劃中，Unto the Dawn 指出世界根本沒有命運的末日，只要我們願意，末日是可以阻止的。筆者喜見年輕的樂隊對這個社會和世界帶來深刻的反思。
Unto the Dawn 在這張專輯中以死亡與末日為反思的命題，深刻探討了社會扭曲的價值觀及人性的黑暗面與軟弱，Unto the Dawn 撕走了這個現實世界的面具。Unto the Dawn 憑藉這個撕破了的真實，為我們應該如何在現實裡自處，賦予了希望的一筆。期待他們更多粵語的作品，更多深刻的反思。
Unto the Dawn Facebook專頁:
你可以在 INFREE RECORDS 找到他們的唱片:
It’s a painful struggle to decide which album I shall review in this very first article. I should be grateful that Hong Kong indie music had given me a hard time in making a choice among a wide variety of options. After some mind struggle, I decided I would start with a genre that Hong Kong public may feel hard to swallow – the Melodic Death Metal.
I would like to introduce to you all an album entitled “Apocalyptic Reflection” from the local underground band Unto the Dawn. You can feel the sincerity from the refined mix of their music. The balance, tone and EQ of the mix are all fantastic! The arrangements are well crafted, the change of pace, the transition of mood from epic roar to depressed whispering, we need to admit that Unto the Dawn is a band with some wonderful storytellers. I am awed by the back-to-basics and straight forward guitar riffs, riffs that matched the emotions are millions more worthy than those who only show-off their technicality.
Heavy music like the melodic death usually faced the struggle in the asymmetry and inharmonious crashes between heavy furious riffs and melodic poetic rhythms. The ability to solve the said asymmetry through bridging the highs and lows of the song with charismatic whispers of poetic lyrics was the highlight that differentiates Unto the Dawn with other bands. I admire the vocalist much, the versatility between clean and neat singing and furious screaming forms a beautiful contrast that draws audience to the stories of their music.
As entitled “Apocalyptic Reflection”, the band tried to reflect deeply on the concept of human apocalypse.
The album comes with 3 songs written in English namely 《Before Everything Dies》、《Lucifer Effect》and《As Blood Turns Violet》, which are classic melodic death compositions, fans of the genre will be excited by the sophistication of their skills and arrangements, the songs are as smooth and punchy as what we metal-heads have searched for from foreign bands for years. Among those I preferred the song《Before Everything Dies》. The band reflected the relationship of love and death through the song, and described what love meant and valued at time when man faced doom and death. A fine reflection indeed.
Yet comparing with the English tracks, you can envisage the great potential of Unto the Dawn through their Cantonese tracks《逆容》 (Twisted Faces) and《末日》(The Apocalypse). With the influence of the tone and pitch of Cantonese, the rhythm, riff and melody transformed subtly, creating a character that was unseen in the melodic death music in the foreign scene. Much appreciated the effort made by the band in maintaining the characterized tone and pitch of Cantonese, in which the language created a poetic mood for the songs.
《逆容》 (Twisted Faces) described the hypocrisy of the society, the twisted value and humanity beneath the faked masks that we faced every day in our materialistic society with infected norms. 《末日》(The Apocalypse) reflected and searched for the roots of the apocalypse, which are the selfishness and brittle spirits of the modern men. The band believes that the emerging of doom would be caused by the twisted humanity, and we all should act positively to prevent the pathetic end of the world. The sophistication and depth of reflection from Unto the Dawn in this album was impressive.
There is a false and stereotyping impression among the Hong Kong public towards melodic death metal - melodic death music players are Satan believers and people with negative mindsets. Writer believes that both impressions are over-generalized / over-simplified in some cases and more often inaccurate. Reflecting on death is not a negative thought, since all lives ends with death and as human we need to face it. So reflecting life via the concept of death is a philosophical way to face our honest thinking to the meaning of life. Just like any dark movie from Tim Burton, melodic death is an expression against suppression to freedom, inequality in society and the numbness to life.
I love how Unto the Dawn tears the hypocritical masks away from the social norms through their compositions and lyrics, especially those quality lyrics in Cantonese. I look forward to hearing more Cantonese compositions from them in the future.
Edward @ Jamintheroom
Facebook Page of Unto the Dawn :
You can get their album in INFREE RECORDS :
You may get different music content from my FaceBook Page “Jamintheroom”: