Golden Dawn are an Austrian black metal band whose career took place in two distinct phases. The first saw founding vocalist and keyboardist Stefan Traunmüller working primarily alone throughout the early '90s, recording demos and one-off songs for independent extreme metal compilations, before finally hooking up with local session musicians to record 1996's The Art of Dreaming LP. Boasting a compellingly idiosyncratic mix of raw black metal thrashing fury and atmospheric, so-called avant-garde synthesizer-based passages, the record garnered much praise from the underground press, but enjoyed limited distribution when Golden Dawn's record company, Dark Matter, proceeded to go belly up. In another stroke of foul luck, so did their next label, Ars Metalli, but a persistent Traunmüller finally managed to complete a second effort entitled Masquerade with the help of Karim Kienzleg (guitar), Sebastian Reiter (guitar, bass), and Moritz Neuner (drums -- see also Korova and Abigor). Signaling the start of phase two of Golden Dawn's trajectory, this effort was released in 2003 by Napalm Records, which, miraculously, has yet to go out of business -- third time lucky?
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