Monday 2 January 2023

Terrible As The Dawn - A Shadow Circuit

Labels: 3 Nines Compact Cassettes/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 02 Oct 2017


1. Long Road

2. Dull And Grey

3. Life, Not Machines

4. Lie Down

Here we are in 2023, another new year full of hope and promise. It will hopefully be a year of milestones and maybe new achievements for the blog, but it's still very early days. One thing I'd like to achieve though is to finally be involved in a physical release of some kind; one like (or with) those of Zegema Beach Records. The Daves involved in ZBR have constantly delivered over recent years and the label has become a regular feature here, and today is no different. I'm carrying on my roster review series with the 2017 EP A Shadow Circuit from US duo Terrible As The Dawn.

Terrible As The Dawn started making music together in 2016. releasing their debut EP Weak in August of that year. Their 2017 EP A Shadow Circuit was release merely a year later with 50 tapes from ZBR (sorry, I don't know how many copies were pressed by 3 Nines Compact Cassettes). Apparently this band is all over the place music-wise, so let's hit play.

I’ve become used to post-hardcore music being somewhat brief but that’s not the case here. Granted I’m over five years late though. Opener ‘Long Road’ features lovely soothing guitar melodies that sit closer to emo than post-hardcore/screamo. That being said, Terrible As The Dawn do break out into heavier, more straight-forward hardcore tones later on. Both the calmer and heavier elements of their sound work brilliantly together, providing a sound that’s both laid-back and chaotic at the same time.

‘Dull And Grey’ is much more fierce in delivery right from the off. There seems to be a lot more anxiety in both the vocals and the instrumentation, especially the guitar. It’s mad that just two people are creating this sound. The volume of the recording is intense and the overall feel of the song is one of controlled aggression. I’m sure I’ve said this plenty of times before during my ZBR roster reviews but this release is one of their heaviest (of the earlier ones at least).

Introspection doesn’t really come into it on a release like this and the opening bars of ‘Life, Not Machines’ are as close as you’re going to get to that feeling, before you’re pulled between hardcore of both the aggressive and twinkly kinds. One thing’s for sure though, Terrible As The Dawn know how to write music that keeps you hooked on every note. They leave their lengthiest number ‘Lie Down’ till the end. It’s also the weirdest in terms of arrangement and tone, bringing to mind experimental band Iceburn during it’s intro passage. It then moves through both sludgy and mathy/grinding sections that show just how adept they are as a band. 

Words on their own can’t adequately describe how good Terrible As The Dawn are musically. There are murmurings of a new album coming from the band, so now might be the perfect time to enjoy this and their earlier EP. 

You cam stream and download the EP here:-

Tape copies are long sold out.

Terrible As The Dawn -

3 Nines Compact Cassettes -

Zegema Beach Records -

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