Skip to content

Lead Vocals, Guitar

Lothar Keller

Lead Vocals, Guitar
Bass, Backing Vocals

Joey Vega

Bass, Backing Vocals
Guitar, Backing Vocals

John Vitale

Guitar, Backing Vocals
Drums

Mike Mousel

Drums

Sacred Dawn burst onto the Chicago metal scene in 2005 with an innovative mix of progressive metal and old-school hard rock. The band’s unique blend of vocal harmonies delivered by frontman and lead guitarist Lothar Keller set the band apart and launched numerous live appearances across the Midwest in support of international acts such as Symphony X, Cage, Firewind, Kamelot, Epica, Loudness, Testament… to name a few.

Through the years the band endured line-up changes resulting in downtime between releases, but also allowed Keller the opportunity to spread his wings musically. First by joining Divinity Compromised in 2009 as their frontman/vocalist and in 2012 co-founded Doom legends The Skull as guitarist and co-songwriter… along with Chicago-based genre pioneers Eric Wagner & Ron Holzner (Trouble).

Band History/Releases Timeline –

2006 – Sacred Dawn recorded & released their debut album Gears of the Machine (A New Beginning) shortly after recruiting and welcoming drummer Brad “Sabbath” Sabathne into the band. The album launched a series of high-visibility shows supporting national & international touring artists… thanks in large part to their long-time relationship with good friend & promoter Frank Masterlerz of FM Entertainment. These shows also caught the attention of Nightmare Records CEO/owner Lance King who signed the band to a marketing & distribution deal. A few years after, and as is the case with many bands, life got in the way of progress when two of its members (Vitale & Sabathne) exited providing Keller an opportunity to expand his musical horizons by joining Divinity Compromised as their frontman/vocalist while at the same time piecing Sacred Dawn back together.

2011 – The band regrouped after new members Michael Carpenter (guitar), Eddie Foltz (drums), and Brian Kim (keys) were welcomed into the fold. A collection of older ideas, new material, and incorporating keyboards into Sacred Dawn’s sound… positioned the band to enter the studio to record and release A Madness Within. For various reasons the production process for the record took unusually long, however, this proved to be a blessing in disguise for Keller who was approached by two former members of Doom pioneers Eric Wagner & Ron Holzner (Trouble)… and the three musicians co-founded The Skull in 2012. The Skull remains active performing nationally and touring the world.

2019 – As Keller’s duties & obligations with The Skull expanded… several Sacred Dawn members went their own way and the band went on a “permanent hiatus”. In music… is anything really ever “permanent”? Fast forward several years. With the return of guitarist Vitale to Chicago Sacred Dawn began writing new material again in 2018 and recruited drummer Mike Mousel (Divinity Compromised) to complete the reformed group and record their EP Contradiction in 2019. The EP consisted of two new songs… “Contradiction” & “Sympathy”, a re-tracked version of 2011’s “Demon Lover” and three live bonus tracks from a 2009 performance (“I’m the One”, “Shadows” & “Walls of Jericho”).

2023 – After writing, recording, and performing songs from the EP… including 2019’s video release of “Sympathy”… it was clear to the band that they had more in the tank and more to say… and boy did they… fueled by the lockdowns of the Pandemic that began in March of 2020. For nearly three years during this crazy time, Keller & Vitale got together weekly to begin writing what would become their most prolific work to date. The album, their first full-length recording since 2011’s “A Madness Within” entitled “Dismal Swamp” is set to be released Sept. 2023 under the direction/distribution of Keller’s record label Qumran Records. The album will be available in swampy green vinyl, CD, as well as all digital platforms.

“Truth be Told” — Sacred Dawn’s first single & lyric video from Dismal Swamp will be released June 2nd, 2023… followed by “A Dream Within” lyric video (July/Aug 2023), and a fully-produced music video for “The Lake of the Dismal Swamp” just prior to the long-awaited and highly anticipated album release.  Metal Monkey Brewing in Romeoville, Illinois will host the album release party on October 14th, 2023.  Qumran Records label-mates Diggeth (Netherlands) will be sharing the stage on this epic night!

Sacred Dawn is:

Lothar Keller (Vocals/Guitar)

John Vitale (Guitar)

Joey Vega (Bass)

Mike Mousel (Drums)

Back to top