A Madness Within is the third release from American progressive metal band Sacred Dawn. This being my introduction to the band, I was pleasantly surprised by both the musicianship and professionalism of this album. When I think of American progressive metal Dream Theater immediately pops into my mind. When I think about progressive power metal from the U.S. Symphony X pops into my head. Sacred Dawn is another great band that is worth the same recognition as both these bands, just based on this release alone.
Genre-hopping is a skill that needs to be mastered in order to do it. If a band jumps around too much, you can never really grasp what they are trying to do, so a band needs to be quite proficient in all the different genres they are playing so they can play them for a sufficient amount of time, thus creating a great listening spectacle. Chicago based Sacred Dawn is just that band. Starting off very progressive with "The Untold Story" they gently move into more of a power metal groove with "Demonlover". They master both aspects of each genre with conflicting time signatures and great guitar work in "The Untold Story" and great chugging riffs to go along with nice choruses in "Demonlover". Eventually, towards the end of the album, Sacred Dawn also shows they can play the softer side of progressive metal with the highly enjoyable "It Shall Be". Heavier sections are also prevalent on this album, most noticeably during the beginning of "Delirium" and "Dawn of the Day".
From what I could tell this seems to be a concept album pertaining to a court case of a man who believes he is not guilty. The beginning of the album seems to be his time before the crime and his normal life, and then towards the end is the court case. There are some spoken passages throughout the album most notably on "Wrongfully Accused" where the beginning of the court case is laid out. Overall it is an interesting concept, but I never fully grasped it.
I can definitely say I will be picking up Sacred Dawn's next release because this album was a great eye opener into this band. All 5 musicians in the band are excellent and the production of this album is very good. All in all this is a very good album and worthy of 4 stars.
1. The Untold Story
2. What You Did to Me
4. A Madness Within
5. Summer of Treason
6. It Shall Be
8. The Decision
9. Wrongfully Accused
10. Dawn of the Day