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Leveling the Plane of Existence

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Album Review

California-based death metal band Abysmal Dawn were decent but unmemorable on their Relapse Records debut (and second album overall), 2008's Programmed to Consume. The vocals were guttural, the riffs downtuned and savage, the guitar solos full of squeals and squiggly riffs, the drumming complex but battering away with the precision of an atomic clock-powered jackhammer. This follow-up doesn't break much new ground, though there are some interesting choices, like the semi-orchestral intro track, "The Age of Ruin," which makes promises of drama and Wagnerian power that the songs themselves don't totally keep, or the percussive interstitial track "Our Primitive Nature." Fortunately, some of these songs are quite, well, catchy isn't exactly the word; this is still death metal, after all. But "In Service of Time" has ear-tugging hints of melody and a groove that'll make the listener bounce on the balls of his or her feet, and the vocals shift back and forth between the usual growls and some slightly higher-register screeching that's not quite a black metal shriek and approaches actual singing. "Rapture Renowned" has a Dimmu Borgir-like chorus, and a nice clean guitar break leading into a solo that builds slowly from long notes to tasteful shredding and back down again; it's really well-constructed, and is a sign of the band's overall evolution. They're still a death metal band and not making any attempts to be anything else, but fans of the genre may well raise their opinion of Abysmal Dawn after hearing this ambitious third effort.

Customer Reviews

Can't get this band out of my head

I purchased this album last week and I can't get it out of my head. Most of the album is extremely catchy, with rhythms and melodies that stick in your head. The guitar parts are constantly carrying rhythms that make me want to bang my head and the vocals are incredible. I was blown away when I found out they were a trio, with their frontman, Charles Elliot, playing the only guitar and screaming. Not only does he play great guitar, but his growls are terrifying. My favorite track on the album has got to be "In Service of Time." In fact, i woke up this morning with the song in my head because it's so catchy. So if you purchase one death metal track this year, make it "In Service of Time." But please, buy the whole album and show labels like Relapse, that it's worthwhile to support Death Metal.


I'm a metalhead, I'll just admit it right now. And I was looking around for new music and I stumbled upon Abysmal Dawn. I bought the song "In Service Of Time" off of this album and I must say Abysmal Dawn is excellent, like my favorite Death Metal band. The lyrics and vocals are outstanding and the guitar and drums are sick. If you love death metal then I highly recommend Abysmal Dawn

Great Band..

I hope that these guys have a long and killer career cause they bring it like all the other new bands should. This is great death metal..


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

West Coast death metal outfit Abysmal Dawn formed in 2003 around the talents of guitarist/vocalist Charles Elliott, guitarist Jamie Boulanger, bassist Carlos Arriola, and drummer Terry Barajas. The Los Angeles-based quartet's unique blend of thrash, grindcore, and black metal was first heard on a 2004 demo that circulated throughout the metal community to much fanfare. The band's full-length...
Full Bio
Leveling the Plane of Existence, Abysmal Dawn
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Customer Ratings