“Genocide Chapters” is the third full-length album from horror obsessed Dawn Of Ashes, and the first for Metal Blade Records. They have, with this album, completed the transformation for the previously drummer-less four piece that started out with an EBM / Industrial sound into a dark, macabre Black Metal band intent on making nightmares become reality.
Throughout the 43 minutes of this album, there are very prominent influences that that band have tried to include. The vocals of Kristof Bathory are very reminiscent of Dani Filth; especially in the way he uses spoken word as well as the more identifiable black metal vocals. The instrumental ‘Reanimation Of The Dark Ages’, which flows into ‘London’s Anthem For The Pleasure Of Mutilation’, breaks the album up midway through for a two minute break before the album is back on track.
Volkar Kael’s guitars are heavily influenced by classic metal, both in the clean solos and the more distorted main riffs. Even though the bass of Othuum isn’t as prominent as it could be, the rhythm section produces a powerful sound, Orias’ double bass sections have the same sound and feel as ex-Fear Factory man Ray Herrera, and live I expect they will sound amazing, if he is as proficient as this recording suggests. The album is held together well by the production of Fred Archambault (for whom this was a bit of a departure after previously working on albums by Avenged Sevenfold and Eighteen Visions). The production is clean sounding and the only down side to this is the lack of bass in the mix.
The album has very limited elements of their industrial past, the orchestral moments bring to mind the likes of Cradle Of Filth and Dimmu Borgir. This works better on some songs than others. The additional musicians on this record have definitely added to their sound, and with Orias’ drums powering them along could be a decent proposition as a live band. The songs on this album aren’t at all bad, and the musicianship is excellent, though they are treading in footprints that have been followed many times before. It’s good that a band evolves and changes, but there is nothing that seems individual about this release.
Dawn Of Ashes are a band that has continuously evolved their sound and line up throughout their career and this is a decent enough release. They know the sound they are trying to achieve and have nailed it. It is just a sound that has been done more successfully before. Worth a listen, but I think the more dedicated Black Metal wont find anything new on this and may find many things they have heard before. “Genocide Chapters” is a decent album, and it is interesting to see where their continued evolution will take them next.