Exposé Online banner

Blue Dawn — Cycle of Pain
(Black Widow BD002, 2013, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2014-04-27

Cycle of Pain Cover art

Cycle of Pain is the second release by this Italian band who cannot seem to make up their mind regarding their musical style. This disc is a mixture of doom metal, 70s hard rock, symphonic progressive rock, and some beautiful acoustic guitar music. The cover art is spooky with a white shrouded figure approaching what looks to be a deserted house, but this picture does nothing to convey what you will experience from listening to the music. Some songs take abrupt turns from hard rock or doom metal to progressive rock, such as “The Powers That Be” and “Naked Soul,” which made it difficult for me to listen to the disc all the way through. There are some nuggets hidden behind all of the hard rock trappings. However, it is not until the fourth song and title track that the music becomes interesting. “Cycle of Pain” is pure gothic progressive with its bass line, plodding beat, and Monica Santo’s vocals. Other standout tracks are the sinister and moody symphonic instrumental “Dawn of Contempt,” the acoustic guitar instrumental “Aurora,” and the acoustic guitar/heavy rock blend “Red Sun.” There is also a cover of Roxy Music’s classic “In Every Dream Home a Heartache.” Blue Dawn delivers a dark gothic reading, but it falls short of Brian Ferry’s sheer decadence that made this song so powerful. The disc closes with “Last Cry,” an odd mix of Bauhaus/Joy Division new wave and hard rock that amazingly works! Overall, Cycle of Pain is too uneven for my tastes. I would have enjoyed the disc more if Blue Dawn had integrated all of these disparate elements into a unique style rather than constantly shifting persona from song to song.


Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Blue Dawn

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Roots of Consciousness - Roots of Consciousness – On first listen I wasn't sure what to make of this debut release from Atlanta's Roots of Consciousness, a four piece of guitars, keys, bass and drums, with vocals by all. After a few listens those...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues