An ambitious but unquestionably flawed first album, Mindrot's aptly named Dawning has occasionally been simplified as falling somewhere betwixt the progressive post-hardcore of Oakland's mighty Neurosis and the gothic death/doom of future Orange County neighbors Morgion, but there's quite a bit more to it than that. Yes, eclectic nine-minute exercises in escalating tension like "Burden" and "Internal Isolation" do recall Neurosis for boasting a similarly complex blend of haunting melodies, bursts of violent noise, and haunting spoken word passages (often lifted from obscure B movies). And the massive riffs and creeping dread that would no doubt influence Morgion's emergence a few years later are also clearly predicted by the death/doom-born, early Paradise Lost grind of "Forlorn" and the Fields of the Nephilim-inspired über-goth of "Across Vast Oceans" -- both of which suffer whenever Adrian Leroux supplants his corrosive growls with less accomplished clean vocals. What sets Mindrot apart from these groups, though, is that none of them moved down the same thrash-fueled paths heard on the first half of "Anguish" and near entirety of "Whitersoul," which remain career highlights, along with the instrumental opening title track. So, all things considered, Dawning will rarely be described as a very coherent or consistent work, often sounding like any number of those other groups instead of Mindrot themselves, who clearly paid the price for attempting to express such a vast gamut of styles and emotions in a single LP.
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AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia