BEFORE THE DAWN was conceived and born 1999 in Finland, Nastola, as solo project of the multitalented Tuomas Saukkonen, who should remain the “single parent” of his brainchild also in times to come. The story from the start, in his own words:
“I made the first demo “To Desire Part 1” all by myself and for the second one I had a friend of mine playing the drums. The first line-up was gathered so that BTD could perform live. With many changes in the line up BTD entered the studio to record the MCD called “Gehenna”. BTD continued playing gigs and I kept on writing lots of new material, and the next MCD called “My Darkness” got very good feedback and a serious enough record deal was offered by Locomotive Music. The next step was to start recordings of the debut album which was also entitled as “My Darkness”. The album included all the songs from the last MCD which was never released to public.”
The first full length album “My Darkness” features Tuomas – guitar & growls, the previous ENTWINE front man Panu Willman – guitar & clean vocals, Jani Saajanaho – guitars, Jarkko Männikkö – keyboards, drummer Dani Miettinen and bass player Toni Broman. It was released by Spanish Locomotive Records in February 2003, soon afterwards the band supported KATATONIA on their Scandinavian and Central European tour dates.
The second album “4:17 AM” followed in 2004 and the DVD “The First Chapter” in 2005, but then Saukkonen disbanded the old line-up and formed his new “Live Action Assault Team”, with the Norwegian Lars Eikind (e. g. WINDS, AGE OF SILENCE, KHOLD), clean vocals & bass, GLORIA MORTI’S guitarist Juho Räihä, keyboarder Joel Mäkinen and drummer Aatu Mukka.
“BTD had walked a full circle and it was once again my solo project. I wrote lots of new material and felt like a newborn. The material was coming very easy and fast because I didn’t have a badly motivated band slowing me down anymore. Sounds like a hard thing to say, but now when I have played almost 30 gigs in Finland and in Europe with my live action assault team (Lars, Juho, Aatu and Joel), things have been going so much easier. Finally I have the luxury of working with professionals. I am not the easiest person when it comes to playing in a band with me. I demand a lot and want everybody to work hard. I also have a very clear vision what is going to happen with the music and with the band in general.”
In 2006, the huge amount of new song material created two albums. “The Ghost” for BEFORE THE DAWN and “The Darkness” for DAWN OF SOLACE, featuring slower and more epic-melodic tracks, where Tuomas expresses his darker side. Remarkably, two members of his “Live Action Assault Team” appear on both CDs, Lars Eikind (clean vocals) and Juho Räihä (guitar solos for “Ghost”, sound engineer for “The Darkness”). In the same year BEFORE THE DAWN toured across Finland and the Baltic States with MOONSPELL and INSOMNIUM, and began the recording sessions for another album.
The new fourth album “Deadlight”, released by the Finnish label STAY HEAVY RECORDS in February 2007, should be a major turning point in the career of BEFORE THE DAWN. Yet initially it seemed that Tuomas would have to go solo once again:
“We had to fire the drummer after one week and start recordings all over again… And then also our second guitarist was too busy with his other band recording, so I played all the guitars. So on the album it is only me and Lars.”
Yet with Juho and Lars a new stable core line-up began to emerge, and shortly after the release of “Deadlight”, Dani Miettinen could be welcomed back on the BEFORE THE DAWN drum throne. The re-formed band faced an increasing demand, as “Deadlight” received excellent reviews in Finland and abroad, and BEFORE THE DAWN made their mark on the charts more than once: The single “Deadsong”, released in February 2007, immediately reached # 2 of Finnish Top 20 charts; for four months it remained among the Top 20 of Finnish Radio Rock. The single “Faithless” (released June 27, 2007), featuring Idols-judge Jone Nikula on the PANTERA cover version “Mouth For War”, also entered Finland’s Top 20 as # 2.
Determined to keep the fast release schedule, the band entered the studio in the beginning of 2008 to record a follow-up for the epochal “Deadlight” album.
Coping with another change in the line-up – once again, the drum-seat would become vacant – the ultimate core crew of BEFORE THE DAWN (Tuomas, Lars, Juho) raised the bar to highest level. Their only goal was to outdo all previous albums in songwriting and production. With “Soundscape of Silence” that goal was achieved, and the band took some time off from studio, playing several summer festivals like Tuska Open Air, and also making their debut at the mighty Wacken Open Air in Germany.
The fifth studio album “Soundscape Of Silence” was released in October 2008, underlining the words: commitment, dedication, talent and hard work. Again European media was full of praise for the new BEFORE THE DAWN output, which also immediately hit the charts among the Top 20.
Yet once again the line-up changed: After playing with live / session drummers, in summer 2009 AGONIZER’s Atte Palokangas could be welcomed as official new BEFORE THE DAWN member.
Finally, accurately timed with the band’s 10th anniversary, BEFORE THE DAWN get ready to conquer European stages, on tour with AMORPHIS in autumn 2009…


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