Genre: Dungeon-Synth/Dark Folk
Playing time: 49:23
Label: Brilliand Emperor Records/Orko Productions
- C’est La Fin (part1)
- Where Shadows Dance (part 2)
- The Mists of the Eternal Meadow
- In the Essence of Dying
- A Letter Hooked to the Cloud
- Threads of Time
- An Unspoken Lament
- The Path of the Dandelion Seed
- Farewell Ballad
This review is a first for me. A premiere I am very much looking forward to. Awaiting The Dawn by Tir is the first time I get to evaluate and rate an album from the realm of dungeon synth and dark folk. Now the powerful guitar riffs and guttural screams are left behind and we enter a place of calm and gentle emotions. An area with a more leisurely pace. A place far away from extreme metal. Join me on a journey into another genre of music.
But first, some information about Tir and the album itself before I venture into the songs. Tir is the solo project of Oytun Bektaş, who produced the first musical works in Turkey and now continues to work on the project in Sydney. In the process, Awaiting The Dawn is the fifth album by Oytun Bektaş, who has released EPs, singles, splits and albums since 2016, and will be released jointly under Brilliand Emperor Records and Orko Productions. For Awaiting The Dawn he collaborated with Thomas Helm and Markus Stock, both members of Empyrium, and they expand the music with several instruments and their vocals. Thematically, the fifth album is based on the themes of romance, mysticism and nature, and authors such as Lord Bryon, William Blake and Shakespeare are inspirations for the songs.
The album includes 9 songs and at 49:23 minutes is in the middle range for the length of an album. The length of each song varies from almost two minutes to almost nine and a half minutes. Thus, our trek through new realms lasts almost an hour and the stages vary in length.
I myself stumbled across his second album, Urd, Skuld & Verdandi, back in the day, so the name Tir was not unknown to me. At that time I was fascinated by the expressiveness of his music and was more than eager to hear his latest work. Therefore, we finally start off with Awaiting The Dawn.
Opening with C’est La Fin, it introduces the album in the style of a ballad. The music is gentle and the acoustic guitar becomes the central instrument. With the gentle plucking of the strings, the piece expands to include work on a mellotron and choral vocals by Markus Stock or Thomas Helm. Thus, the beginning builds and builds, rising to sacred levels. The following song, Where Shadows Dance seamlessly follows the predecessor and with The Mists of the Eternal Meadow a trilogy is formed, which plays into each other and expands piece by piece. In The Mists of the Eternal Meadow, soft creek sounds are inserted to give the song a natural touch and the grand piano takes on greater importance here.
The climax of all the playful melodies is In the Essence of Dying and here we find a contrast between the title and the music. The guitar playing is more lively and virtuosic in its range. This is joined by some initial flute playing and birdsong. This positive climax experiences its break in A Letter Hooked to the Cloud. The piano playing is reduced to a slow melody, but every single beat has a weight of meaning. The grand piano alternates repeatedly with a string instrument in the same song. These two instruments build up a heavy, dense web of sound, like dark rain clouds, and towards the end the clouds clear with a lovely finish. My favourite on this album.
The album thrives on its highs and lows and this shows very well in the second half of the disc. Threads of Time and The Path of the Dandelion are light, easy spring days and are direct counterparts to A Letter Hooked to the Cloud and An Unspoken Lament and were also embedded directly between the aforementioned tracks. Yet you won’t find a copy of the first half of the album here, but independent pieces that are sometimes more or sometimes less sophisticated and in some cases feature new elements. An Unspoken Lament, for example, comes up trumps with the use of a horn, which makes the song stand out for me.
The final song is Farewell Ballad and I would like to criticise this decision directly. The song has its own intensity held by a string instrument, but nothing changes until the end. No deviations in the melody and no special surprise by inserting more instruments. Not a nice ending for the overall concept.
Now comes the conclusion. With Awaiting The Dawn, Oytun Bektaş has created a solid collection of songs that form an exciting journey of discovery through their arrangement. Here, the variety in the individual moods and the use of different instruments is the album’s greatest strength. The big drop of melancholy is the end with Farewell Ballad, which is also the weakest piece for me. I guess other songs, like The Path of the Dandelion, would have rounded off the concept of the album better. The two guest musicians, Thomas Helm and Markus Stock, have left huge footprints within each track with their vocals and instruments and some of the footprints are very big and very deep. In some songs the collaboration with guest musicians is limited to one track and this also limits the influence of the respective person/people on the whole album. In this case, Awating The Dawn feels like a joint project to combine the strengths of the three musicians and to create something good. This makes Awaiting The Dawn and Tir an example of good collaboration within music for me and the journey through the individual tracks was a real pleasure for me.