REVIEW: Tyrian Dawn – “A Mosaic of Memories and Musings”

Tyrian Dawn are a 5-piece from Melbourne, Australia, and considering “A Mosaic of Memories and Musings” was created completely by the band themselves (recording, mixing, and mastering) it’s really quite good.

I’m not going to go into some extensive description of every song. Instead, I’m going to tell you what this band is like as a whole. Tyrian Dawn make use of what seem like typical (yet at times effective) alternative rock guitar rhythms, but occasionally these seem to be burdened by an overly keen lead guitar. In moderation it works well, but some songs would be better without. This aside, the area they really excel in is the building up of atmospheric tension. Instrumental opener “Transient Daydream” is simply brilliant, it’s only fault being the fact it’s too short. I understand Tyrian Dawn aren’t a post-rock band, and that anything longer may be straying outside of their territory, but it’s really these moments that stand out.

Some songs see the band taking a different route, with the acoustic “A Ballad for Dubiety”, which contrasts excellently with the rest of the album. Other moments like the beginning of “Three Short Words” seem like they’re going to develop this aforementioned contrast, but then seem to swerve away entirely from any initial direction back to the typical alternative/punk rock style, which is a shame.

I’m not all whinging on this. Personally I might find the lead guitar a bit overwhelming, but I know plenty of people who wouldn’t. What remains to be said is that while they do these things that might not be entirely my cup of tea sometimes, they do them in a solid and consistent fashion. Which is more than can be said for a lot of other bands.

The material that Tyrian Dawn have managed to produce and create here, all by themselves, shows a few things. Firstly, it shows that Tyrian Dawn have the technical skills to do things on their own that a lot of other DIY bands can’t. Secondly, this material shows that they have the skills to craft songs to a level that gives them room to move, ensuing that provided they push their boundaries, their sound won’t stagnate or bore. Lastly, it shows that these guys are motivated. Without the pressure of a label, they worked at “A Mosaic…” till they were happy with it. And then gave it away for free.

I think what this album does seem to lack is a bit of direction and focus. Whilst the effort put into these songs shows, I get the feeling that Tyrian Dawn are yet to musically find their feet. They’re yet to find that creative niche, that instead of confining them will differentiate them from the pack and really help them break out and develop a larger fan base. I think a combination of time and experience, and the right producer for their next recorded effort, will set Tyrian Dawn on the path to finding a sound that will define them as musicians and artists.

Personally, for a record that runs close to an hour, I don’t think there’s enough diversity to keep it interesting and to warrant whole listens through. A shorter and more contrasting release will really see this band shine, and once they refine their sound and carve their own path musically (whether it’s by making more use of their brilliant atmospheric instrumentation or not) there’s every chance that they’ll get a lot of people talking.

Score: 6/10

You can download “A Mosaic of Memories and Musings” for free here.

If you feel like checking out some of the more stand-out tracks, try “Transient Daydream”, “Colours to the Mast”, “A Ballad for Dubiety”, “Shield of Lies”, “A Bittersweet Muse”, and “Of Grey and Sunset Skies”. They’re a pretty good indication of what Tyrian Dawn can do, so give them a go and make your own mind up.

If you’re in Melbourne on the 30th of June and can get yourself to The Ferntree Gully Hotel, I strongly recommend you do so. After winning a Battle of the Bands in late 2009 in Victoria, Tyrian Dawn landed a spot playing alongside The Butterfly Effect and Calling All Cars, so they clearly know what they’re doing as a live act. Go and check all 3 of them out and give them some support.

Other upcoming gigs include:

- ROOM six eight zero in Hawthorn, VIC, 7th May 2010 – doors at 9pm – $15 presale

- Ruby’s in Belgrave, VIC, 14th May 2010 – doors at 8pm – $10 presale

If you’re interested in either, contact: 0417 380 926 or band@tyriandawn.com.au

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About Jeremy

19. Student. Blogger. Writer. Music-enthusiast.

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