Hear ye! The glory of battle awaits! The immortality of war, the wondrous words of the poets shall share in your triumph for all time! Song and albums about the glories of war and battle have been done a million times. Hell, there’s even an album called “Battle Metal” from Turisas (an album I happen to love but we won’t get too much into that). But there was something different about the Sequestered Keep album, “Dawn of Battle.” Instead of pretending all war is glorious and that nonsense, Sequestered Keep looks at everything, the whole picture.
In the realm of medieval ambient, Sequestered Keep is king, hands down. I may have only been a fan for a year or so now and I have a lot to learn, but Sequestered Keep opens my mind and my heart in ways that others just can’t. The music of Sequestered Keep brings me back into my past when I was just learning what fantasy was, when I was fresh off Tolkien and ravenous for more castles and knights and dragons. I remember grabbing any book, game, or movie that I could and building a fantasy world in my head that somehow encompassed everything I had read. I remember the Final Fantasy games, the early Diablo games and the imagery that was so richly evoked in those games. But what I remember most was the music. The music was something else entirely. I am a lover of soundtracks, and to this day the soundtracks to those games are still playing in the back of my mind. They still inspire me, fascinate me, terrify me, and amaze me. Sequestered Keep, by happy accident or divine design, has tapped into the emotions and exhilarations that made fantasy and rpgs so real to me.
Dawn of Battle is not an album that glorifies war. Nor does it vilify it. Rather, Sequestered Keep looks right down the middle and takes in everything. Dawn of Battle is a real look at medieval warfare and battle and all the emotions therein. Dawn of Battle does an excellent job encapsulating the excitement and the fervor in which we would go into battle, but he quickly turns that excitement into terror and dread as the blood begins to flow. He goes on to explore the sorrow and horror as the battle ends and the field of slain stretches as far as we see.
We don’t just see the battle from the perspective of the soldier, though. Sequestered Keep gives so many details for this massive artwork by giving us more perspectives. We get the perspective of the leaders, the wizards, the enemy, the landscape itself. Each new perspective we get in Dawn of Battle deepens our understanding of the event itself and the emotions of the people involved. The album is well rounded and honest. Will the poets remember this battle? What will they say about it? Who will be remembered? Is the battle immortal or the fighter? Such questions are for the listeners to answer for themselves.
Again, Sequestered Keep has created a masterpiece. A visceral, bloody, colorful image of battle and glory. Dawn of Battle is another feather in his cap, a breath of fresh air. I feel myself quickly becoming a fanboy of Sequestered Keep. He’s able to create albums at a rapid rate and yet the quality, as far as I know, has not dipped.
Listen and support!