Some people have called Chris “The Professor” Black “the world’s premier heavy metal singer-songwriter”. There is a certain truth about this statement. Dawnbringer’s new album »Night Of The Hammer« contains ten high-class heavy metal anthems. From “Alien” all the way through to "Funeral Child", the best song Mercyful Fate have never written.
There’s lot of variety on »Night Of The Hammer«. "Nobody There" for example is glorious prime-time doomy New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. What a great song... “Thank you very much,” remarks Chris Black. “I quite like that one as well. It was one of the first ones written for the album, almost a year old when we went to the studio. I guess »Night Of The Hammer was an easy album to make, but only from a songwriting point of view. The studio work is always quite demanding.” "Xiphias" is a curious song, showing influences of old, straighter Rush meeting country rock, almost like a stripped-down version of "Working Man", great stuff as well. Chris Black comments: “Yeah, it’s a curious one for sure, like you said, perhaps almost a campfire song. It’s quite a bit more substantive lyrically than some of the other tracks, so it stands out. I think maybe there will be a love/hate response.” "One-Eyed Sister" is another stand-out track on the band’s new album. Chris Black describes its lyrical content: “It’s about a child who is accidentally stabbed through the eye and severely brain damaged as a result. This one is probably my favourite on the album. It has stuff hiding in the shadows for sure.” "Not your Night" is a bit of a shocker musically, to my ears it sounds pretty much like classic Hellhammer... “Nothing as exciting I’m afraid, it’s just a momentary flashback to the sound of our ‘90s albums,” laughs Mister Black.
»Night Of The Hammer« is Dawnbringer’s sixth studio album. Is it a concept album in the strict sense of the word? Chris Black: “No, it isn’t a concept album, and because it follows a strict concept album, it perhaps feels chaotic and disjointed by comparison. It will take some time to see this album in a broader context. By the way, it’s technically the seventh album, because the third album has not yet been recorded except as a demo.”
The band does not make it easy for the listener by any stretch of the
imagination. Once more there is no logo on the front of Dawnbringer’s new album, and no title as well. Just a pretty mysterious looking photo. “That’s true,” laughs Chris Black. “Our album covers never have any logo or text on them. It’s a good way to invoke curiosity. I don’t know if it’s meant to test the buyer’s dedication or patience or even curiosity. We decided a long time ago that we’d always have album covers that did not need a logo or title to be effective. We’re more concerned with how these albums will look in a record collection than how they will look in a retail setting. The CD versions always have a sticker, to alleviate some of the mystery.”
With High Spirits, Chris Black’s other band, having taken Germany by storm by appearing at the prestigious Rock Hard festival, Dawnbringer have always retained a rather low profile. Chris Black is not too unhappy about that situation: “I am open to change but also quite proud of our accomplishments. It’s true, next year Dawnbringer will be 20 years old and still mostly unknown. Until recently, Dawnbringer has made very little effort to perform live. It always seemed impractical. We’ve never all lived in the same place, the demand was scarce, and a lot of the earlier material would indeed be quite impractical to try and perform on stage. A relatively short-range goal for me is to bring Dawnbringer to Europe. I see a few ways that it could work, but the best chance for it to get rolling would be a festival promoter (or two) who believed in the cause and then go from there.”