Stefan Traunmüller formed GOLDEN DAWN in the year 1992. Originally a one-man black metal project, the first demo, entitled Lullaby, embraced the doom/black metal genre, complimenting its musical escapades with an epic concept story based on Viking mythology. The varied experimental keyboards would later become a trademark of GOLDEN DAWN in the coming years,
In 1995 Ray Wells of PAZUZU and Martin Schirenc of HOLLENTHON discovered GOLDEN DAWN while searching for Austrian bands to feature on the Austrian Black Metal Syndicate’s compilation CD to be released by Dark Matter Records, a sub-label of the now defunct Sing Sang Records. Traunmüller contributed two tracks, Way of the Sorcerer and Enigma, which were recorded at the Sing Sang Studio during a September weekend in 1995.
In early 1996, Dark Matter signed on GOLDEN DAWN and Traunmüller entered the Sing Sang studio under the expertise of accomplished producer Martin Schirenc. The tedious recording/production process under very professional circumstances was the key to the unique sound of the band’s debut, The Art of Dreaming. Schirenc, who shared guitar responsibilities, backed Traunmüller. Thomas Tannenberger (founding member of ABIGOR) and several session singers also contributed to the recording. Following its release, the debut was praised worldwide for its raw black metal charm, its dreamy soundscapes, and its eccentric experimental passages.
In 1997, the future darkened for GOLDEN DAWN as both Schirenc and Wells left Dark Matter Records. Bound by a contractual agreement, Traunmüller spent several weeks in the studio between 1997 and 1999 recording portions of the band’s follow-up, Sublimity. But with the passage of time, Sing Sang’s financial outlook turned grim and the label’s owner repeatedly refused to allow the release of the nearly completed recording by another label.
Traunmüller, however, wasted no time in improving his home-studio and learning about the recording process. He recorded a new version of Sublimity, as well as A Solemn Day at his home studio. The difficulties of the past years were reflected in the material’s melancholic style.
In early 2001, Traunmüller joined forces with two guitarists and concurrently signed with Ars Metalli. But while Masquerade was being recorded, the label folded, leaving the band to self-finance the album. The finished product includes the work of Moritz Neuner on drums, as well as the talents of several session singers, and presents a more varied and experimental GOLDEN DAWN, which eventually secured a deal with NAPALM RECORDS.
The long awaited comeback of GOLDEN DAWN was released on 24 February 2003. Simultaneously Napalm Records released a re-mastered mid-price version of The Art of Dreaming featuring new artwork.