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Just Wait for the New Morbid Angel - 60%

FullMetalAttorney, April 21st, 2011

Abysmal Dawn is a straight-up death metal band from Los Angeles. I decided to pick up their third full-length, Leveling the Plane of Existence, based purely on the strength of the awesome album art. I'm not sure what it is, but it looks cool.

Anyway, after listening to the album, I have one question. Didn't anyone tell these guys Morbid Angel are already releasing an album this year? Their tones are close replicas of Morbid Angel, and their mid-paced chugging riffs have MA written all over them. The solos are of the slow chromatic variety as well. But few of the riffs have the memorability of an MA riff, and the solos seem to be thrown together without any thought put into them. "Rapture Renowned" and "Manufactured Humanity" are completely and entirely forgettable.

There are a few points of dim, obscured light, however. Other than a clumsy point in the solo of "Rapture Renowned", they play their instruments competently, and the death growls are competent as well. Closer "The Sleeper Awakens" changes things up quite a bit, sounding more like one of The Haunted's slower tracks. There is a catchy chorus to "In Service of Time", and "My Own Savior" gets a great groove going. Sadly, when they're at their best, it sounds even more like Morbid Angel, so as they gain in quality they lose in identity.

The Verdict: Morbid Angel are already releasing an album this year. You're better off waiting for that. This is not a terrible album by any means, but it's not going to be remembered by year's end.

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