Morning Dwell – Morning Dwell
Morning Dwell – Morning Dwell (2014)
Reviewed by Daniel Millard
Known colloquially on the internet as “ReinXeed’s drummer plus some other dudes”, Morning Dwell is actually primarily the project of lead singer Petter Hjerpe, who apparently turned a bunch of solo compositions into a band almost overnight after receiving a surprise record deal from Doolittle Group (home of ReinXeed, Golden Resurrection, and other Swedish power metal bands). As you might expect, Morning Dwell is a similar breed of rapid and anthemic to other Doolittle signings, but I think calls to mind more closely countrymen like Insania and Last Kingdom.
Though I wouldn’t classify Morning Dwell as being as blatantly cheesy as bands like Freedom Call or Wonderland, it’s about as feel-good and cheerful as metal gets. The neoclassicism is dialed back compared to many bands present on Doolittle’s roster, and the combination of Hjerpe’s vocal timbre and the significant use of keyboards makes me think most immediately of Last Kingdom’s Chronicles Of The North, though with a little less speed overall. Joining that band, Parsifal, and others in a modern revival of Swedish power metal is great news for folks like myself who love the genre. However, they’re playing cards a bit close to the chest to properly break out and impress a greater audience.
Uptempo and enjoyable as “Forever And Ever”, “Unlock All The Doors”, and “Spread Your Wings” may be, this is going to be extremely trite work for anyone even passingly familiar with this style of power metal. I confess that with several listens, even I began to lose focus – and that with my personal mission of finding unique elements in every power metal band. Throwing a twelve minute song in as a closer doesn’t really help the band’s case in this respect, although I admit that I didn’t see “The Pirate Song” coming. With as blunt a title as this, you might expect it to be an eye-roller, but it’s turned out to be a standout for me – due in part to having what’s probably the most memorable guitar lead and chorus line on the entire album.
With bands like this, one element or another really needs to stand out in order for me to consider them worthy of particular recognition. ReinXeed has the crystal clear tenor of Tommy, Insania has a phenomenal gift for melody, and even Last Kingdom’s Stefan Jacobsen has a fairly distinct tone and better-than-average sing-along choruses. Morning Dwell seems to emphasize vocal melodies above all else, and after the research I performed for this review’s opening paragraph, this tendency makes perfect sense, but Hjerpe just doesn’t have the finesse or practice of many of his better-known Swedish brethren. As such, I feel that aside from a couple of excellent tracks, Morning Dwell’s debut is bound for somewhat more anonymity than most of its counterparts.
Morning Dwell is a respectable debut, but very little more than that. I would only really recommend this to fans of straightforward Swede-power, and perhaps tentatively to fans of fast, ultra-melodic Euro-power in general. For others, it will have quite limited appeal. I venture to say that this signing may have been a bit premature, but there could be good things in the band’s future if they develop a better-seasoned concoction.
3.0 // 5