Hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia on the west coast of Canada, Ahna have long been a favourite of mine. I discovered them as far back as 2013 maybe, while running the old and short lived Rage and Frustration online radio program. The then trio, now quartet play Crust with a hearty helping of Death Metal thrown into the mix. Always burly and abrasive, Crimson Dawn are here to punch you in the mouth again.
To be honest, I thought the band has split-up. Their last release was the “Perpetual Warfare” EP way back in 2015 and their only other full length goes all the way back to 2010. But here we are. A couple of weeks ago, I about shouted with glee at opening an email from Caligari Records to discover the promo for a new full length, “Crimson Dawn,” by the mighty Ahna. Would it meet my high expectations? You bet.
So, what’s changed? Well, a new member has been added. Presumably this is Thomas Szuk who picked up the bass for the band back in 2017, but it could also be C. Jones who joined on guitar on 2016. The band also includes Anju Singh (vocals, drums) and Graham Christofferson (guitar, vocals). Musically, the project has spent the last five years injecting the trademark Ahna sound with more power, more vigour. “Crimson Dawn” hits like a truck, then flows through your veins like a new drug bringing darkness and destruction. It is there most mature release to date, showcasing a power and majestic aggression that I now realise was only hinted at before. It’s always interesting when a project you love anyway releases something that blows you completely away.
In the final analysis, “Crimson Dawn” is perhaps a defining moment for the band, a surge forward for an already strong contender. This album separates them fully from the pack and will place them on the watch list for many AOTY decisions for anyone paying attention. Get on this while the getting is good.
Rating – 4.5/5