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Dawn Ray'd's Anarchist Black Metal Keeps It Grim up North on 'A Thorn, A Blight'

Dawn Ray'd latest album is a Molotov cocktail of black metal, crust, ambient, neoclassical, screamo, and radical politics; stream it in full here.

Photo courtesy of the artist

Ever since I feel in love with a quiet lad from Lancashire four years ago, I've been particularly interested in Northern England's extreme metal scene; the bleak landscapes and tough, independent working class mentality seem to breed a unique kind of band, one that's far removed from London's trends–and thoroughly proud of it. When you've got the masked menaces behind Dragged into Sunlight scattered all across the upper half of the country, Coltsblood and Conan keeping Liverpool heavy, and Caina and Winterfylleth holding it down in Manchester, it's not much of a stretch to pinpoint the region as a sleeping giant. One of my more recent favorites, Dawn Ray'd, add more fuel to the fire.

Their sound is a Molotov cocktail of black metal, crust, ambient, neoclassical, and screamo (a remnant of the members' former band, We Came Out Like Tigers), and their voices are strident. Dawn Ray'd raise the black flag high, proudly identifying as an anti-NSBM, anti-fascist, anarchist band; they went so far as to print tongue-in-cheek stickers marked with the XLW designation police use to differentiate between "normal" protestors and anarchists. The band's most recent release, A Thorn, A Blight is a gorgeous album, and one that is fiercely political—lyrics like, "Every time you turned your guns on civil rights / Every time you told a rape victim she lied / Every single pig, every single time / Is the guardian of privilege / And an enemy of mine" pull no punches and take no prisoners.


Originally released by Moment of Collapse, A Thorn, A Blight, will soon see a vinyl repress via Halo of Flies, and is currently streaming on the Dawn Ray'd Bandcamp page. Given that this reissue will mark the band's first proper exposure to US audiences, I figured it made sense to give them a little shine today, and point you towards the stream of this extremely important record.

Catch Dawn Ray'd live on their UK/European tour this July:

16th - Darkness Over Cumbria - Fellfoot Wood, UK

17th - Unicorcn Camden - London, UK

18th - El Diablo - Lille, FR

19th - Wagenburg - Muenster, DE

20th - Bei Ruth - Berlin, De

21st - Gerber 3, Weimar, De

22nd, 23rd, 24th - Fluff Fest - Rokycany CZ

25th - Venster 99 - Vienna, AT

26th - TBC

27th - Budapest, HU

29th - No Sanctuary Fest - Rijeka, HR

30th - PMK - Innsbruck, AT

31st - Zurich, CHE

1st - Cologne, DE

Kim Kelly is circling every A she can find on Twitter.