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Very rarely can a death metal record be considered a work of art, but Abysmal Dawn’s 2008 platter of brutality is just that. The album is a vivid voyage through the depths of pure misanthropic hate and scornful disdain and contempt for human behavior, and it only lasts for a shade over 37 minutes. If it had been any longer, I think I might have sought a random pedestrian to bludgeon mercilessly after the first play-through.
The root of the emotion on this record lies solely in the lyrics, which is pretty strange for an American death metal album, especially one that was recorded in the last five years. Frontman Charles Elliot’s growls are as crystal clear as a death metal growl can be, and it is quite obvious from the beginning that he is only poetically pointing out the painfully pitiful shortcomings of the human race and its desire for consumption of ridiculous material merchandise that not a single soul on this planet needs.
What are we now but untimely fissures
In a system soon to be undone?
Do we work for what we’ve created,
Just byproducts of manmade gods?
I’m the end for you,
Your impending doom.
You must obey the limits.
You’re programmed to consume.
Uh, yes, please. That pretty much sums up my feelings as well. And that’s just the first track and it’s overly long and pointless introductory noise (Seriously guys, just start with the music).
As big of a part as the lyrics and their delivery play on the atmosphere and emotion of the record, it’s the instruments that truly make the music shine. The guitar tone is thicker than Oprah’s thighs after an all-nighter at the Denny’s buffet, and yet every single note of every single riff on the album is clearly discernible.
The songs themselves always remain groovy and catchy without featuring some sissy breakdown ode to Pantera or something. In fact, the only time these guys ever really slow it down is just as an effort to hit you that much harder and deeper, except on the acoustic instrumental track “Aeon Aomegas,” which is essentially the seventh inning stretch that gets you ready for the final pounding.
If the album has a weak spot, it lies in the repetitive song styling from track to track. Don’t get me wrong, Abysmal Dawn definitely know their formula, and they are undoubtedly hitting their stride on this album, but structurally each of the songs are seemingly built with the same general attitudes and sentiments as the one before. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is a reason for taking it out of the CD player after one play-through most of the time.
Make no mistake. This album is a relentless pummeling of pure death metal. It is American death metal straight out of California, but it definitely holds its own versus the more polished, brutal Dutch, Swedish, and Polish schools of death metal. If true American death metal is ever going to make a return, these guys will carry the flag into battle.
Written for globaldomination.se