ALBUM REVIEW: Strange New Dawn – New Nights of Euphoria 

Often our expectations of metal’s various sub-genres can paint bands into neat play-list folders in our minds and deviation can sometimes cause dissonance. A band that manages to defy genres with grace is Norway’s Strange New Dawn which features members of Green Carnation and In The Woods

Their new album New Nights of Euphoria (Svart Records) opens with progressive elements powered by a propelling and aggressive pounding. The clean vocals have a maniacal feel to them, while the attack of the guitar is marginally more black metal than doom. You can hear these sounds wrestling against one another in harmonic chaos. This peculiar sonic combination of sound lacks cohesion but somehow still works. “Class Hero Idol” bridges the gap between Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd and Jethro Tull. The surreal moments of psychedelia float around the vocals, as the punchy guitar chug follows the flow of the song.

 “Defenders of Faith” ebbs down to a hard rock feel, with the vocals belted out before the momentum of the song blasts off in an epic gallop. The drummer is great at both tasteful accents and pouring on the barrage of double bass; this helps with the grandiose swells of dynamics.  There is an odd tone to “Wake of Icons” that is darker than the direction they headed in the previous song which brings to mind  Gutter Ballet-era Savatage. “Fortune Bringer” serves to further the Pink Floyd comparisons due to the vocal layering. The fact this is achieved in a metal-leaning manner is even more impressive.


“Finding the Pieces” finds the band carrying more of a metallic sheen with its thrash-y chug along and the guitar harmonies that give it more of a New Wave of British Heavy Metal feel. However, the vocal melody is more relaxed, not unlike where Mikel’s vocals have leaned towards Opeth’s more recent material. The melodic qualities of the guitar solos are also an improvement in that regard. “High Strangeness” starts with a drugged-out creepy groove before the drums accelerate things with a flow of double bass. 

The Roger Waters-like theatrics carry over into “Sons of Galaxy”. One of their best qualities is the willingness to go into these places and create a spectacle of sound that almost feels like a rock opera.

 Overall fans of prog rock will enjoy the weird way in which this album works. It does take a few listens to grow on you, and preferably a large amount of THC in your bloodstream to fully absorb this album. This band takes prog in a doomy direction that works well and is another win for Svart Records who has a track record of releasing great stuff with a dark edge.

Buy the album here:



8 / 10